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Anti-gay Firefox CEO resigns after OkCupid puts him on blast

Online dating company OkCupid made headlines when it urged Mozilla Firefox users to use a different browser after the company hired CEO Brendan Eich, a supporter of Prop 8. Now, Eich has stepped down in response to the uproar.

mozilla firefox ceo Outgoing Mozilla chief executive Brendan Eich in a photo courtesy of the company.
Credit: Reuters

Never underestimate the power of OKC. Online dating company OkCupid made headlines when it urged Mozilla Firefox users to use a different browser after the company hired CEO Brendan Eich, a supporter of Prop 8. Now, Eich has stepped down in response to the uproar.

When Firefox users navigated to OkCupid, they got the following message: "Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience. Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."

Not long after, the company announced that Eich had stepped down on Thursday. Mitchell Baker, executive charewoman wrote in a statement,

"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.

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"Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

"Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard."

OkCupid responded by lifting the anti-Firefox message and sent out the following statement: "“We are pleased that OkCupid’s boycott has brought tremendous awareness to the critical matter of equal rights for all individuals and partnerships; today’s decision reaffirms Mozilla’s commitment to that cause. We are satisfied that Mozilla will be taking a number of further affirmative steps to support the equality of all relationships.”

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark

 
 
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