After just 11 days on the job, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich is stepping down following protests over his support of an anti-gay marriage measure in California, the Associated Press reports.
The controversy stems from a $1,000 public donation that Eich made in 2008 in support of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage. The measure was overturned by the US Supreme Court last year.
Users also criticized the move and earlier this week dating website OKCupid posted a note asking their users to stop using Firefox, a web browser made by Mozilla.
On March 26, Eich addressed the controvery in a blog post where he expressed “sorrow at having caused pain” and said he was committed to inclusiveness at Mozilla. But the controversy continued and several days later he stepped down.
With news of Eich’s resignation today, Mozilla posted an open letter online where executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker apologized for the company’s actions in addressing the issue.
We 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.
Mitchell went on to say Eich made the decision to step down “for Mozilla and our community.”
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
Eich’s resignation sparked many mixed reactions on social media. Some welcomed the move while others voiced their support for the former CEO.
Mozilla Chief, a Gay-Marriage Foe, Steps Down http://t.co/kBHXgteaPG Mozilla should a. Never have appointed him. B. Acted even sooner.— edwardboches (@edwardboches) April 3, 2014
Oh, please. Activism on Mozilla exCEO's anti-gay donations is not anti "freedom of speech." It is free market, consumer culture activism.— Erin Matson (@erintothemax) April 3, 2014
Really glad to hear I can go back to not using Firefox simply because I don?t like it. http://t.co/sLxpUCBaDO— Dan Kennedy (@dankennedy_nu) April 3, 2014
Clueless bigot Brendan Eich finally leaving Mozilla. Brilliant engineer -- rotten human being. Good riddance! :-\ http://t.co/8q3GBOnv9o— Nick Prudent (@xecretcode) April 3, 2014
Free speech takes another hit today. CEO of Mozilla forced to resign for stand on marriage.— JackWatkins (@jack37069) April 3, 2014
@mozilla Your so-called "tolerance" obviously & hypocritically works in only 1 direction. You just lost a 10-year loyal user. Feel better?— Funky D (@FunkyDL) April 3, 2014
This is rather great from Mozilla https://t.co/e5ZF0dH48S— Susolele Role (@boyonthefence) April 3, 2014
OkCupid 'satisfied' with news of Mozilla CEO's resignation http://t.co/YOo8gZnGwC— Mashable (@mashable) April 3, 2014