Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO following protests over his support of a gay marriage ban in California.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based organization that makes the Firefox browser infuriated many employees and users last week by promoting Eich.
At issue was Eich’s $1,000 donation in 2008 to the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that outlawed same-sex marriages. The ban was overturned when the U.S. Supreme Court last year left in place a lower-court ruling striking down the ballot measure.
Eich’s contribution had drawn negative attention in the past but took on more weight when he was named CEO. Mozilla employees and users criticized the move on Twitter and elsewhere online. Earlier this week, dating website OKCupid replaced its usual homepage for users logging in with Firefox with a note suggesting they not use Mozilla’s software to access the site.
Eich’s resignation is hardly a case of the Twitterverse toppling a titan of industry. Set up as a nonprofit that prides itself on ‘‘making the Web better’’ while putting ‘‘principle over profit,’’ Mozilla is a world apart from most of its Silicon Valley neighbors. Its most noteworthy product, the Firefox Web browser, is the world’s third-most-popular behind Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
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