After a weeklong controversy about a previous donation to an anti-LGBT cause, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has resigned his position.
In a blog post on the Firefox creators’ website, Mozilla said they hadn’t been true to themselves in their response to the controversy. “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,” the post said. “We’re sorry. We must do better.”
Eich found himself in a firestorm after sources dug up a donation he made to the Prop 8 campaign in California, supporting the measure that would later pass and dismantle marriage equality in the state. The news quickly caught fire with LGBT advocates, some of whom called for Eich’s removal. According to the post, Eich stepped down of his own accord.
“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech,” the post said, reflecting on the “hard” bridging between standing up for both. “Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality.”
Eich previously said he would never resign over the controversy, calling it a “personal” donation that shouldn’t matter in his role.
“I don’t want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going,” he told The Guardian.
Dating site OkCupid made news earlier this week by staging their private form of protest. Users who accessed the site from Firefox were greeted by a message asking them if they would instead access the site through another browser, like Google Chrome, Safari or, hilariously, “Internet Exploder.” Eich called OkCupid’s move “rash.”
In their post, Mozilla pledged to move forward with lessons learned. “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,” the post read. “We are stronger with you involved.”
Read some Twitter reactions to the news below.Graphic Credit: Kevin O’Keeffe