Many employees and Firefox users are angry and take to Twitter to talk about it after Brendan Eich is named CEO of the Mozilla Foundation. On March 30, Silicon Times reports that many are calling for Eich's resignation after finding that he donated to an anti-gay cause in 2008.
Although a personal donation and not corporate, Brendan Eich reportedly gave $1,000 to support Proposition 8 in 2008. Prop 8 is the California legislation that was voted in but later overturned by the Supreme Court that banned gay marriage in California.
Many Firefox users are taking to Twitter to voice their opposition to Eich's promotion. Some even have said as long as Eich runs the company, they are switching to Chrome.
In addition to losing customers, Mozilla is losing valuable employees. Three board members resigned upon hearing the news of Eich's appointment. Many other employees have quit or are threatening to quit too.
Eich's opponents don't want someone with his anti-gay personal beliefs leading the company. Mozilla touts a workplace environment said to foster creativity and openness and many are afraid his leadership is not conducive to the company vision and want him to step down.
This story sounds much like that of Jelly Belly chairman Herman G. Roland Sr. who landed in the same hot water with gay rights activisits late last year. Roland's $5,000 donation to Privacy For All Students, a group opposing transgender equality legislation, was found out and the backlash could have been catastrophic.
Another example of the leader's views affecting sales is Chik-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy. When news of Cathy's personal views on gay marriage became public, the divide between pro and anti-gay marriage became glaring. Pro-gay marriage groups staged "kiss-ins" where gay couples would show up to Chik-Fil-A restaurants at specified days and times to kiss publicly in opposition of Cathy.
In support of the fast food chain, anti-gay marriage supporters alternatively set specified days and times that their groups would intentionally buy food from Chik-Fil-A. The move meant to curb any lost sales for the franchise as well as to voice their support.
In the end, both companies spent much time and effort cleaning up what was considered a public relations mess. Both Jelly Belly and Chik-Fil-A are also still spending time and energy on the gay-marriage subject.Is this a road that Mozilla wants to travel or should they just remove Brendan Eich now and save themselves the headache?