Brendan Eich's Short Stint as Mozilla CEO Comes to an Abrupt End

Paul Lilly

Mozilla co-founder was pressured to resign due to his support of an anti-gay marriage law

After barely more than a week on the job, Brendan Eich has made the decision to resign as Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla , and is giving up his seat on the board as well. Eich was named CEO on March 24, 2014, which immediately drew the ire of several employees and members of the LGBT community over his support of California's anti-gay marriage law, otherwise famously known as Proposition 8.

This has been a topic of controversy ever since Eich in 2008 donated $1,000 in support of the ballot measure to ban gay marriage, though it came under greater scrutiny when he was named CEO of Mozilla last week. Between then and up to today's surprise announcement Eich held firm in multiple interviews with various members of the press that he would not resign, nor would he speak about his personal beliefs, which he said weren't relevant to the job.

Something changed his mind, and according to a blog post by Mozilla's Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, Eich made the voluntary decision "for Mozilla and our community." Baker also used the opportunity to apologize.

"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," Mitchell explained. "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."

Eich, who's resume includes the creation of the JavaScript scripting language, and Baker have worked together for over 15 years. In an interview with Recode , Baker acknowledges that it's a tough situation due to Eich's founding status and contribution over the years, but that "making sure others continue to join and support Mozilla's efforts is even more important." Baker also stated that despite pressure coming in from all sides, it was Brendan's decision to step down.

"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," Baker added.

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