Mozilla CEO resigned

I’m a big supporter of gay marriage (or to be more exact, I don’t think the government should be involved in defining who can marry who), but this seems somewhat wrong to me. I don’t think people should be fired for their personal beliefs if they don’t affect the performance of a job – and it’s a pretty big stretch to say that giving a few thousand dollars in support of some political initiative is particularly relevant. I mean, should I be fired because I support gay marriage if, say, my boss is one of those kind of Christians?

Reminds me a bit of when Scientific American withdrew the offer of the Amateur Scientist column from Forrest Mimms when they found out he was a fundamentalist. I mean, I guess you could say that was somehow relevant, but the argument is weakened somewhat by the fact that what he actually did – i.e., the books he wrote – didn’t display any issue that prevented him them from offering him the job in the first place.

I know this won’t be a popular opinion around here, and while opposing Gay marriage is wrong IMO, two wrongs don’t make a right.

(Edit for clarification: I understand why FF would do it. The real wrong IMO is people thinking that they shouldn’t use a browser is someone working on it – or even leading it – holds different opinions than they do. FF is a big open-source project that is much bigger than any single participant.)

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Pascal’s Wager is not a bingo card.

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No, he quit. Once you’re CEO and you step down or aside, you can’t usually stay in a company. The previous iterim CEO had to leave when Brendan stepped into the role, even though he was a longterm Mozillian. I’m not partial to executive conversations but this is the norm.

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People tend to forget that Mozilla plays the moral high ground on pretty much everything Open and Equal.

This guy needed to go.

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He wasn’t fired. He chose to step down. No, people aren’t papering over him being fired. He made a decision for the good of the Mozilla project.

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If the guy had been forced to resign because he supported gay rights, and the intolerant right hated him for it, He’d be a hero. Instead it was the other way around. In either case, I don’t confuse political views with business ability. That’s why they have votes, you know, so people with differing worldviews don’t have to resort to violence against one another. He chose a side and lost. I disagree with him on same-sex marriage, but revenge doesn’t, and shouldn’t, enter into it.

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CEO’s are never fired.

It’s the same thing at the C level.

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Yet, strangely, he’s the co-founder of Mozilla and has been working in this space for 20 years and it worked up until now with nary a complaint about him, his behavior, etc. He didn’t discuss his politics and personal beliefs with people, so much so that people were surprised when this came out. Other than his political donations, I challenge people to find a single thing he ever did or is purported to have done that acted against anyone.

This isn’t to say I agree with his political views as expressed by his donation. I have queer family and believe in equal rights for everyone but this was a complex situation.

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The point being that the board (or anyone else) did not force him out. He chose to leave.

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You could be right – point is that we’ll never really know, because if he didn’t it would probably still be framed that way.

The real tragedy, IMO, is that this guy’s life was turned upside down mostly because some crappy website (OKCupid) thought they could get some good PR out of it by raising it as an issue eariler this week. Hope they enjoyed all the press.

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This is a painful loss for people who care about Mozilla’s work. What I wish he could have said: “yeah, it’s true, I used to think marriage should be between a man and a woman, but I’ve thought about it a lot since then and I now see how unfair that definition of marriage is. I wouldn’t make that donation again, I think marriage should be available to all, without prejudice, and I’m glad Prop 8 failed in the end. Sorry it took me a while to see that, but I see it now.”

Why couldn’t he just say that? Has having been CTO, with his head down in code and engaging technical issues, insulated him from the social changes going on around him? Does he see it as a matter of personal integrity, in simply being unable to say what he doesn’t believe? Is it a religious background (Santa Clara University)? The thing that really hurts about this is that, even if he doesn’t see the unfairness of his views now, he probably will, given time.

Sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks.

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How complex is it, really? If I worked at a business who was run by an individual made multiple donations to people who wanted to get in power and work to ensure the state made my life difficult at every turn by pursuing a social-conservative agenda, I would want to leave, or want that individual to leave. If I used that business’s products, then I’d be ensuring that individual was able to support their social-conservative agenda further. If that business supported organizations, especially organizations that did not pursue a social-conservative agenda, that association would be tainted.

Eich is free as an individual to hold his beliefs and throw his money at whomever he pleases. As CEO, his beliefs cannot be so easily divorced from his business dealings.

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Well, that’s what the board said. I work at Mozilla and the internal message isn’t any different than the external. After almost seven years there, I trust the people who run things and their honesty and integrity.

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Maybe someone can help me out here…

As far as I can tell, he gave $1000 to support Prop8, waaaaay back in 2008. In all the news about this, I haven’t seen anything FROM HIM claiming to still be for or against gay marriage. From what I understand, part of the trouble comes because he put Mozilla’s name on the check as well. Oops.

So, in 6 years, is it not possible that someone could have a change of heart, or at least move towards the middle of the road a bit? Did anyone ask him if he still holds those beliefs before they ran him out of his job?

If he’s a shitbag then let him stand for it, but that’s not the narrative I’m seeing.

My point is: If we gang up on someone for what they used to believe, while not allowing some room for change and forgiveness, we’re just as bigoted and just as bad as the people who we’re ganging up on. I want to hear from him that he still opposes gay marriage. Then he’s a shitbag. Till then, he’s a guy who used to be a shitbag but now he’s unemployed.

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The loving state of California requires you to disclose your employer if you donate $1,000 to a political campaign (I’m not sure when it kicks in but it is state mandated). He didn’t “put Mozilla’s name on the check.” He followed a state disclosure requirement which then became a matter of public record.

He’s been interviewed and spoken about the situation, and written several times on it publicly in the last week. He’s been pretty clear that he isn’t going to discuss his beliefs, whatever they might be. None of us actually know or are likely to know because he isn’t saying. He has said that he’s trying to act with the integrity of his principles and also be judged by his other actions within Mozilla and the tech space.

As I said above, a lot of people were quite surprised because, without these public disclosures, you would never have thought anything of his politics or beliefs because they didn’t come up in the context of his work at Mozilla. People have been very public about that. See this post, for example.

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It wasn’t OKCupid that forced him out. That’s just one web site. Before OKCupid ever did anything, half of the Mozilla board had resigned, and there was intense fighting going on inside the organization. A CEO that controversial within his own organization can’t lead.

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Uhm, no. There was not “fighting going on inside the organization.” Evidence please? You’re spouting BS FUD which I know to be FUD and which you can’t prove otherwise.

The story about the board has been corrected. Out of the three resignations, two had been in the pipe for as soon as a new CEO started, whomever it was. They weren’t reactions to his appointment. No one seems to be commenting on the fact that a new board member also started in the last two weeks, Katharina Borchert, the head of Spiegel Online.

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Yes, I’m sure not one person with decision-making responsibilities at Opera has anti-gay rights views.

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In the USA their is an effort to protect people from judgement based on race, color, sexual orientation, and for some reason religious views.

To me this is bizarre, I can’t choose my sexual orientation, nor can I choose the color of my skin. I can however choose my religious views.

What is also bizarre to me is the idea that people are capable of compartmentalizing their attitudes such that their chosen private prejudices wouldn’t effect their decisions in the work environment.

Given all that is known about the psychology of human behavior and prejudice it is simply ignorant to pretend one can privately harbor a prejudice and it won’t effect how they make decisions in their public life.

Any organization you do business with is an amalgam of the the persons involved. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that appointing a person with known prejudice towards equal rights for LGBT persons, might lead to less than equal treatment for LGBT persons.

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Do you know of any or should I just not use anything in case a bigot is involved in the decision making?

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