Mozilla CEO steps down amid anti-gay marriage outcry

Exit sign

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has been forced to resign less than a month after his appointment, following outcry about his support of a US anti-gay marriage campaign.

Eich's promotion to CEO sparked protests from Mozilla employees who felt his views were not fit for the firm's culture of "openness".

"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," Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of Mozilla wrote on the company's blog.

"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.

"Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Our organisational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all."

The outcry surrounding Eich concerns a $1,000 (602.95) donation he made in his name and the company's, due to US law in 2008 to the Proposition 8 campaign, which supports the outlawing of same-sex marriage.

Mozilla employees took to social media to call for Eich to step down following his announcement, and three board members resigned.

Many of these employees, including Christie Koehler, Mozilla's head of education, felt Eich's views would lead to discrimination within the company. Others, such as Chris McAvoy, product lead of Mozilla Open Badges, were worried it would give the wrong impression of Mozilla, as a company.

Mozilla's new CEO is yet to be decided, but Baker said the company will have more to share next week.