Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser and Firefox mobile OS, says its recently-appointed CEO has stepped down from his role.
Brendan Eich, who was co-founder of Mozilla and had previously been Chief Technology Officer, had been in his new position for less than a fortnight. His appointment had been criticised by those within the organisation who’d wanted an external appointment and also because of Mr Eich’s previous opposition to gay marriage.
In a blog post, Mozilla executive chair Mitchell Baker said “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. 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.”
Earlier this week, dating site OKCupid temporarily diverted users of the Firefox browser to a page that read “Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”
A further announcement about Mozilla’s leadership is expected next week.