Mozilla CEO Steps Down After Supporting Anti Same-Sex Marriage Group

Appointing a CEO is a vital and central task. What happens when the new CEO’s private beliefs become public and contradict the organisation’s culture?

The recently appointed CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, (the creator of javascript) has stepped down as CEO of Mozilla following a firestorm over his support for an anti same-sex marriage group in California.

Once his support for this group became public pressure mounted rapidly both from within the organisation and externally, to the extent of one on-line service inserting a pop-up asking people not to use Firefox because of the CEO’s attitude on this issue. This blog from the Executive Chairwoman details Mozilla’s stance and ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion following this.

A good save on her part, but could the problem have been avoided in the firstplace?

The wasted time and expense of recruiting a CEO  plus the reputational damage incurred here signal the need for clear and explicit leadership from the top of any organisation today around these issues.