New Mozilla CEO promises to promote diversity after appointment backlash

27 Mar 2014

New Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has promised to promote diversity and equality in the company after a number of employees refused to work for him after he had previously donated US$1,000 for an anti-gay marriage bill.

The former CTO was appointed this week to lead the company for the foreseeable future. Gay members of staff criticised the appointment, displeased with Eich’s decision to donate money towards 2008’s Proposition 8 bill in California, which called for the ending of gay marriage, and with his US$2,600 donation to fellow Prop 8 supporter and congressman, Thomas McClintock.

In his personal blog about the employees’ concerns, Eich has laid out a series of commitments to ensuring he will not be introducing any discriminatory policies while his in charge of the company.

He promised to uphold the rights of the LGBT community and has promised his “personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult.”

However, Eich did not address the Prop 8 claims directly but went on to address the issues of privilege. “You’ll also see more from Mozilla under my leadership in the way of efforts to include potential contributors, especially those who lack privilege.

“This entails several projects, starting with Project Ascend, which is being developed by Lukas Blakk. I intend to demonstrate with meaningful action my commitment to a Mozilla that lives up to its ideals, including that of being an open and inclusive community.”

There has yet to be any official response to Eich’s words on the matter, but his lack of reference to the donations is unlikely to aide in the turmoil that has arisen in the early days of his leadership.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic