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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Brendan Eich steps down at Mozilla Foundation, no successor named

Brendan Eich steps down at Mozilla Foundation, no successor named
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NewsPoster
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Apr 3, 2014, 03:51 PM
 
In the wake of a $1,000 political contribution controversy, newly-named Mozilla CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich has voluntarily stepped down. In a post noting the departure, Mozilla claims that it "didn't act like you'd expect Mozilla to act. We didn't move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We're sorry. We must do better."

Launching the controversy, users discovered that in 2008, Eich donated $1,000 and various in-kind services to support a ban on gay marriage in California, Proposition 8. Many technology companies were vocal in not supporting the ban, most prominently Apple -- and Mozilla.

The company saw three board members resign over the appointment of Eich, although the specific departure reasons aren't clear. It has also has had to defend itself in blog posts against criticism over the CEO's donation, and incurred the wrath of dating site OKCupid and other partners -- and even employees.

In its statement penned by Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, the company said that "while painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So that all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better."
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 4, 2014 at 05:50 AM. )
     
The Vicar
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Apr 3, 2014, 08:57 PM
 
I'm not going to comment on the scandal itself, but actually this is how this kind of thing ought to be handled (at least at the outset): the guy who was responsible is removed, and the company issues an apology and pledges to do better, rather than trying to shift blame or claim they had no idea what was happening. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they really WILL do better in the future, but at least they got the first step right.
     
aristotles
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Apr 3, 2014, 11:14 PM
 
Freedom of speech is dead in America. This man did nothing wrong. He was exercising his freedom of speech (political speech) as a private citizen using his own money. Tim Cook, however, has used his position to influence causes he believes in without seeking consent from the shareholder of Apple and yet most of you have no problem with that? Hypocrites. It is Tim Cook who should lose his job.

The gay activists hate the freedom of others. They seek to demonize anyone who thinks differently than they do. They are bullies and no better than the fascists of the 20th century. Freedom is dead as long as we worry about offending others.

Happiness is a choice. It cannot be legislated. The right to pursue happiness is not a guarantee of it. Those who seek to silence all dissenting voices deserve no joy. They should be careful about pressing their luck for the pendulum may swing the other way soon and the more they abuse their position, the more they will lose when their advantage slips away.
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Aristotle
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andrewbw
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Apr 4, 2014, 12:03 AM
 
The right of speech is legislated; the protection from the consequences of speech are not. Mr. Eich learned that the hard way. Surely there are plenty of organizations someone with his considerable experience (and particular social views) could apply himself toward that would not result in such a culture clash as Mozilla? (Which, for the record, *directly supports within its organizational charter* the very rights his donation sought to work against). He was a bad fit, period. And while he surely didn't deserve such violent and vicious a reaction, he also should never have been hired into that position to begin with. This whole event has been idiocy all the way around.
I'm not wearing any pants.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 4, 2014, 12:10 AM
 
I'm going to post a quick reminder here to keep things civil between us. The issue is charged, and lets remember that nobody here had anything to do with Eich departing or the circumstances surrounding it.

So far, so good.
     
aristotles
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Apr 4, 2014, 02:15 AM
 
Who started this witch hunt? Who looked into his personal history? Shouldn't someone investigate them?

So are you activists going to boycott Javascript now too? He invented Javascript.
See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript

Hypocrites.
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Charles Martin
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Apr 4, 2014, 03:16 AM
 
Aristotle: I'm sorry you don't quite understand that a person can hold views many others find offensive, but those views and actions make one unsuitable for certain kinds of jobs. What happened to Eich was largely his own doing. He has and had every right to express his views, just as I do: but expressing those views makes him (and me) unqualified for certain positions, particularly at a company that espouses tolerance, equality and human rights.

Nobody "investigated his personal history" -- he made his support of Prop 8 public himself by his actions (which extended beyond his small cash donation) and it was known years before he became CEO. Nobody who opposed his ascension to CEO made him quit: he made that decision himself. What happened was that Mozilla's partners and customers got in touch and sent a message that people who oppose equality and human rights, nice or brilliant as they may be, are not suitable candidates for the job of head of a company the champions equality and human rights. Simple as that.

As for his invention, if you can show me in the code for JavaScript where it opposes equality and human rights, I'll certainly stop using it.
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aristotles
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Apr 4, 2014, 04:09 AM
 
chas_m, how would you feel if I said that I found your views offensive? Sorry but I don't think his personal donations are anyone else's business and I don't think what he donated to back in 2008 should have any effect on his job as a CEO right now. I think it was a witch hunt and I don't think he would have anything to apologize for. He did nothing wrong. He never used his position as CEO or any of his previous positions to influence company policy toward his personal views.

Given that he never interfered with the company policies, how is it right for this witch hunt? Just because something is recorded in the public record, it does not necessarily mean that you have a moral right to abuse that information.

Do you understand that use of records can be "legal" and yet wrong and/or creepy at the same time?

I have decided to uninstall Firefox from all of my computers because of how Mozilla handled this situation. They caved into pressure from a small vocal minority.
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Grendelmon
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Apr 4, 2014, 11:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by aristotles View Post
Who started this witch hunt? Who looked into his personal history? Shouldn't someone investigate them?

So are you activists going to boycott Javascript now too? He invented Javascript.
See:
JavaScript - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hypocrites.
So only one side consists of "activists?" What about the people who actually introduced prop. 8? Don't point fingers and call people hypocrites, because the pro-ban parties are just as guilty.

The nature of the entire dilema is SIMPLE. Pro-ban people are regarded as supporting constrictive civil liberties. People that support gay marriage are regarded as supporting more open civil liberties. In the public relations perspective of most companies, you don't want to be affiliated with the former. It's that SIMPLE.

Do whatever you want with Firefox on your computer, it isn't going to affect anything. You didn't pay a dime for it.
     
Charles Martin
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Apr 4, 2014, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by aristotles View Post
chas_m, how would you feel if I said that I found your views offensive?
Oh well, guess I'll never be CEO of Mozilla.

Sorry but I don't think his personal donations are anyone else's business and I don't think what he donated to back in 2008 should have any effect on his job as a CEO right now.
Perhaps had he denounced his previous support of an anti-human-rights initiative as some kind of myopic mistake that he's learned from, he would still be in the job. He didn't.

I have decided to uninstall Firefox from all of my computers because of how Mozilla handled this situation. They caved into pressure from a small vocal minority.
59 percent of the US population (those who support marriage equality) is a "small vocal minority?"

Public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interesting worldview you have there. But I celebrate and defend your right to uninstall Firefox in protest.
Charles Martin
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jeanlouisv
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Apr 6, 2014, 05:43 AM
 
Public relations disaster for the gay community.
Fact is that beyond self-convincing speeches, they still need the electoral support of the pragmatic straight people, the ones who think "why not giving their the right to marry"? I was one of them.
And now I think :"hang on a second, they will want to fire anyone who disagrees, who made sometimes ago a minuscule democratic donation against their opinion? That person could be a friend, a colleague, a relative with whom we may have respectfully disagreed, but still a friend?".
Congratulations, internet activists: you gave a silver bullet to the bigots of the other side. And some free advertising to a profit-making company (OKCupid).
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 6, 2014, 05:48 AM
 
The world does not work the way you think it does.

The man stepped down because HIRING him was a disservice to the LBGT community, and to the freedom of society as a whole.

The only people who would react to this the way you suggest are the oppressive minority who agreed with him in the first place.
     
Chongo
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Apr 8, 2014, 01:16 PM
 
What's next? Will Mozilla purge it's employees who have tithed to their church?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 8, 2014, 05:14 PM
 
What's next is obviously more shifting of goalposts as points are demolished.

Have fun.
     
   
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