Mozilla CEO resigns amid controversy

Firefox, the popular open source web browser owned by Mozilla.

After only 11 days on the job, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned on Thursday. Controversy arose earlier this week when it was discovered that Eich had contributed to the 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California. Eich initially defended his position on same-sex marriage, arguing it would not affect his leadership role at the company. 

Many Mozilla employees began to voice concerns their new CEO was not fit to head what is seen as a progressive company. And dating website OKcupid earlier this week asked Firefox users to stop supporting Mozilla because of its CEO's politics. 

"In the past couple of days, there's been mounting pressure from people all over the Mozilla community urging him to resign," said Casey Newton, who has been reporting on this for The Verge. "The argument they're making is that he can't be an effective leader when his values opposing same sex marriage oppose those of Mozilla as an organization."

Eich does stand out from a tech community that largely supports gay rights. Jeff Bezos donated heavily to a 2012 campaign in Washington to approve same-sex marriage. However, Newton added that Mozilla as a company stands out from the tech company for another reason as well.

"Mozilla is a really unusual case because it has this policy of openness. And it actually encouraged its employees to get on the Internet, to write blog posts, to tweet about how they felt. So you had this extraordinarily public discussion that would be unimaginable in almost any other company," said Newton.

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Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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