Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Mozilla, has stepped down as CEO over the controversy that erupted after his $1,000 pledge in support of California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8 became widely known.
“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” read a statement from Mozilla. “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.”
It wasn’t enough, and on Thursday he officially stepped down.
“It’s clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting,” Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker said in an interview Thursday morning, the technology website Recode reported. “The ability to lead — particularly for the CEO — is fundamental to the role and that is not possible here.”
Mr. Eich had insisted that his personal views did not affect his ability to lead the company, noting that Mozilla had been extremely friendly to the gay and lesbian community for years. Ms. Baker’s past experience with him seemed to validate his claims.
“That was shocking to me, because I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” she said, Recode reported. “But I overestimated that experience.”