Mozilla CEO resigned

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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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His life was turned upside down because he supported a legal effort to exclude GLBT people from a basic legal right.

Don’t mistake the symptoms for the cause.


( @albill : You’re right of course; I don’t think he should have said it if he didn’t mean it. I just wish he could have said it and meant it. I’m bemoaning fate and speculating on how it came to pass at the same time. )

Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest. – Plutarch

To those treating advocating discrimination as a matter of opinion – like preferring chocale to vanilla, or Kirk to Picard, or even advocating equality – please consider it a little more carefully. Support for gay rights might be a matter of opinion to you, but for some people Proposition 8 was a serious attempt to upset their position in the world.

Eich’s donation was not just a personal thought, but an action that could have harmed real people. If you feel bad for the upset to his life, do you feel bad for them? Because those potential victims don’t exist in the case of someone who lost their job for promoting equality; the form is similar but the content is not.

And while that might not make a difference in his business ability, Mozilla purports itself to be more than that; it’s an organization whose manifesto all about enriching a public resource for everyone. I think it’s pretty clear his action was at odds with what they stand for, and they’ve agreed.

I’m a bit sorry for Eich if he has tried to correct his mistake since. I give some kudos to him for stepping aside, and to Mozilla staff for a proper apology and reaffirming their principles.


What views will be mandatory for Mozilla’s next CEO?

For example, does the new CEO need to be 100% pro-abortion?

Must he or she believe that the Rosenbergs were innocent?

What about raising CAFE fuel standards for cars and trucks?


His life was turned upside down for expressing his views on a subject. One of the ideas that this country was founded on (or so we have been led to believe) was people being able to express themselves. Yes, he sided with something that at the moment is social suicide. Does that mean that he deserves the world turning against him for expressing his views? Has it really come to the point where expressing a view contrary to the masses, regardless of the subject, is subject to immediate repression/backlash/ostracizing?

In our schools today, we have a huge campaign against bullying. Why do the adults in the world not look to this campaign and take note? Bullying and belittling the decisions of people anywhere is not going to make a positive difference in the world. It will only succeed in dividing and tearing down.


The Mozilla manifesto is available here. It doesn’t explicitly say anything about not discriminating against gay people, but if you would be honest for a moment, you can probably see why it is against what they stand for. In contrast to your crack about views on fuel economy, which is not nearly the same as donating money to support discrimination.

Donating money to an attempt to upset other people’s lives is not the same as expressing a view. How is this so hard to understand?


I think attempting to legally enshrine the less than personhood of a specific group of people based on a factor they cannot control is the very epitome of bullying.

Standing up to people who think it is ok to discriminate based on sexual orientation on the other hand I would not consider bullying.

Do we need to tolerate his views? Perhaps as far as the law is concerned, but as far as public discourse goes, he is reaping what he sewed. There is nothing wrong with vociferously informing a bigot you don’t approve of their bigotry.


I would say ‘never underestimate people’s ability to contradict themselves.’ In fact I would argue that contradiction is humanity’s forte.

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