Mozilla CEO under pressure to resign over homophobic beliefs
Published 28/03/2014 | 16:36
Employees and volunteers at Mozilla - the organisation which promotes open source software such as its Firefox browser - have called for new chief executive Brendan Eich to stand down because of his donations to political campaigns to ban gay marriage.
This week Mozilla named Brendan Eich as its new chief executive, following the resignation of Gary Kovacs which was announced in April last year.
The controversy stems from a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to support California's Proposition 8, which opposed gay marriage.
The donation was listed in a public database with Mozilla appearing next to Eich's name as his employer. It caused controversy in the technology industry when it was uncovered in 2012.
Eich posted on his own blog to "express my sorrow at having caused pain" and promised an "active commitment to equality" at Mozilla.
"I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion," he wrote.
But employees were unconvinced. Chris McAvoy, who leads Mozilla's Open Badges project, took to Twitter last night to call for the new chief executive to stand down and said that he had been "disappointed" by his promotion.
Earlier this week independent developer Hampton Catlin also wrote a blog post announcing that the company founded by him and his husband would no longer support Mozilla:
"As a gay couple who were unable to get married in California until recently, we morally cannot support a Foundation that would not only leave someone with hateful views in power, but will give them a promotion and put them in charge of the entire organization.
"By the very bones in our body, we cannot dare use our creativity, experience, knowledge, and passion to further the career of a man who has to this day not apologized for his support. I can’t spend hours and days and years polishing, building, and upgrading applications that make him richer than he is."