DONATE TODAY!: Join the NOR Associates
What happens when the CEO of a Silicon Valley software giant trespasses against the reigning corporate ethos? Brendan Eich, creator of Java Script, found out the hard way this March when he was forced to resign after having occupied the top post of Mozilla for a mere two weeks. His sin? A full seven years ago, Eich donated $1,000 to the campaign of Proposition 8, Californias 2008 ballot measure that restricts the definition of marriage to one man and one woman.
Once Eichs transgression became known, Mozilla employees embarked on a Twitter campaign against their new boss, calling for his head. A boycott was soon organized, in part by the companys own web developers. Soon the dating website OKCupid.com jumped into the fray and blocked Mozillas popular Firefox web browser, and it was reported that the omnipresent Google, which was negotiating a search contract with Mozilla, also voiced concerns.
Eich was quick to repent of his past action, writing on his blog to express his sorrow at having caused pain, and to confirm that he is committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion the virtue of virtues in todays world. He even promised to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or have been marginalized.
But Eichs act of contrition wasnt enough. The people wanted expiation. They wanted an example to be made of him. If he had apologized years ago, this would be a non-issue, said Hampton Catlin, a web developer and a partnered homosexual who helped spearhead the boycott. We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day-to-day activities at Mozilla, Catlin wrote in an open letter to the company.
You have two options:
- Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
- Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.
If you're already a subscriber log-in here.