Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down today amid public outcry over his support for California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, which created a constitutional amendment preserving the traditional definition of marriage.
Thousands of petition-signers and many employees of the technology company called on Eich to either openly endorse gay marriage or be removed from the firm. Eich wrote in a blog post on March 26 that he was “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,” but he did not renounce his support of traditional marriage.
On Thursday, Mozilla announced that Eich, who co-founded the firm, decided to step down from his role as CEO. Mitchell Baker, executive chairman of Mozilla’s parent company, the Mozilla Foundation, said in the announcement, “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,” Baker wrote. ”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.”