Mozilla’s Board of Directors and CEO Brendan Eich announced that Eich has decided to step down from the role of chief executive officer, effective immediately. The decision to step down comes after a week of intense backlash against Mozilla over Eich’s past support for efforts to deny equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians.
This is an important moment for the Mozilla community and a critical development in our ongoing fight for equality and the open web.
From Mozilla’s official statement:
“Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community. 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.”
No doubt Mozilla will be viciously attacked by the rightwing for taking this courageous stand.
You can show your support for Mozilla in several ways:
1) If you are on Twitter, show your public support including the hashtags #standwithmozilla and #switchtofirefox
Here are some suggested tweets:
2) Share this image in support on Facebook (just click the image):
3) If you’re not already using Firefox, consider switching to the only browser that supports equality for all under the law, net neutrality and an end to mass warrantless spying by the NSA.
It’s important to remember that Mozilla is not a company, it’s a movement supported by tens of thousands of volunteers around the world. Mozilla is a non-profit organization fighting to keep the web open and free for all of us. They put people above profit, and fight for user choice and privacy. Their mission is vitally important to every grassroots movement, including the work that we do here at CREDO.
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.
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.
Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
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.
Our organizational 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.
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. 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.
While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.
We need to put our focus back on protecting that Web. And doing so in a way that will make you proud to support Mozilla.
What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week. However, our mission will always be to make the Web more open so that humanity is stronger, more inclusive and more just: that’s what it means to protect the open web.
We will emerge from this with a renewed understanding and humility — our large, global, and diverse community is what makes Mozilla special, and what will help us fulfill our mission. We are stronger with you involved.
Thank you for sticking with us.
Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman
Thank you for standing with the Mozilla community agains the rightwing attacks that are sure to come in response to their courageous statement today.