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After OkCupid Protest and Media Storm, New Mozilla CEO Steps Down

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CEO Brendan Eich supported California's Proposition 8 -- and the online dating site didn't take too kindly to that.

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On Monday, the dating site OkCupid took a stand for gay rights, protesting against Mozilla's new appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO. In 2008, he publicly supported and donated $1,000 to the campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state (it was ruled unconstitutional in 2010).

When users visited OkCupid, which is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI), on the Mozilla Firefox browser on Monday, they saw a letter to users that explained the issue. One line read, "If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal." At the bottom of the page were links to download other browsers such as Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer, and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari.

It seems that OkCupid's protest, largely covered by media outlets and shared on social sites, has worked: Yesterday, Mozilla announced in a blog post that Eich would be stepping down. As Chairwoman Mitchell Baker wrote, "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...Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He's made this decision for Mozilla and our community."

OkCupid responded with appreciation. "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," said a spokesperson. "We are satisfied that Mozilla will be taking a number of further affirmative steps to support the equality of all relationships."

At this point, no successor to Eich has been named. 

Below is the original letter that Mozilla users saw when they went to OkCupid:


Source: OkCupid

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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