Friday, April 4, 2014

Mozilla CEO Resigns

by Brig Bagley

4 April 2014

Brendan Eich responded to protests for his anti marriage equality beliefs by resigning as CEO of Mozilla.

"Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves," Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker said in a blog post. "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."

One question arises with this situation: whether leaders of large companies are free to have their own beliefs, even if they don't project the beliefs onto the company. Eich believed it was unfair for the consumers to expect him to change his beliefs or make a public apology. Inclusiveness is important in a company, so if any minority is excluded, a company will suffer. But whether the mere beliefs of the leaders constitutes as exclusivity is what we must consider. Instead of compromising his beliefs, Eich decided to step down for the best interests of the company, and his own best interests.

A couple lessons to be learned here:

1) Don't project your beliefs onto government or business. If something important to you is incompatible with the entity for which you are associating, remove yourself from it, or explicitly state your intentions to keep your beliefs separate from your business.

2) Don't compromise your beliefs for the masses. Even if most people disagree with you, you are free to believe as you wish. Just don't expect everyone to believe as you do.

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