Mozilla Corporation, after a year of hunting, has finally announced Brendan Eich as their new CEO. They have promoted Eich, former Chief Technology Officer and one of the founders of Mozilla, to Chief Executive Officer. This comes as sad news to the LGBT community as Eich donated $1,000 to support California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage within the state.
While concerns were raised when the news of Eich’s donation broke in 2008, Eich or Mozilla Corporation never released a public statement or apology. The only public statement came from Mozilla Education Leader Christie Koehler, who stated her disappointment in Eich’s donation, and defended the corporation’s stance on LGBT inclusion and openness.
“Many Mozillians are themselves advocates for human rights, animal rights, prison abolition, marriage equality, racial equality, etc.,” Koehler wrote. “Some of those causes might overlap with the cause of a free and open Internet, but they are separate causes, and none of them are the focus of Mozilla the organization.”
While Mozilla can try to separate its political stance from that of its CEO, will current and new employees be able to separate the two? A CEO is meant to defend and reflect the philosophy of the company. But when the company allegedly believes in equality, but has a CEO that doesn’t, isn’t it really strange? App developer Rarebit’s CEO, Hampton Catlin, certainly does think so.
Hampton Catlin married his partner Michael in California after Proposition 8 was overturned. Catlin has denounced Eich’s donation and pulled all of Rarebit’s apps from the Firefox Market place in boycott of Eich’s promotion. He even released the following statement:
As married gay couples that are co-founders of this venture, we have chosen to boycott all Mozilla projects. We will not develop apps or test styles on Firefox anymore.
Effective today, we’re removing Color Puzzle from the Firefox Marketplace and stopping work on all of our Firefox-related applications, notably the about-to-launch Firefox version of the popular Dictionary! app for iPhone and Android.
This is in protest of the appointment of Brendan Eich to the position of CEO of the Mozilla Foundation, where he had previously served as CTO.
We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day-to-day activities at Mozilla, which we believe is extremely unlikely after all he’s survived and the continued support he has received from Mozilla.
This makes us very sad, as we love the little guy fighting to make things better. But it’s because of our status as a minority that we simply can’t ignore this slap in the face of giving him a promotion to lead your organization.
A slap in the face indeed! It’s important for all of us to stand up against Mozilla’s decision and defend the LGBT people working within Mozilla or even with other companies that work with Mozilla. A company that can so easily look past its CEO’s overtly discriminatory beliefs doesn’t not deserve the support of our community.
There a lot of options for Firefox in the market, we here by request you to switch to using any of the alternatives.
Besides, Google Chrome is superior software anyway.