Breaking: Mozilla CEO steps down following anti-gay controversy

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Following speculation and outraged calls for his resignation, brand new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who took the position on March 24, will be stepping down. 

Announced on the Mozilla Blog on Thursday afternoon, the company apologized for not having “stayed true” to their culture of inclusiveness.

“Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community,” Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote. “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 faced criticism and controversy due to his $1,000 donation in 2008 to support the Proposition 8 campaign against marriage equality. His donation was revealed in 2012 through public record yet he was still taken on as CEO of the company, leaving many, including Mozilla employees, less than impressed.

In his first public interview with CNet on Wednesday April 2, Eich remained tight-lipped surrounding his personal opinions, with his refusal to confirm his current stance on marriage equality. 

Throughout the interview, Eich continued to focus largely on his commitment to maintaining Mozilla’s inclusive health care benefits and employment practices.

Eich’s promotion to CEO led to a 700,000 signature petition demanding his resignation, with a few people and companies boycotting Mozilla software and Mozilla employees tweeting their desire for him to step down.

The Mozilla blog post acknowledged the “hurt” people were feeling, saying, “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it.”

“We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public,” Baker wrote. “This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.”

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