Brendan Eich stepped down from his position as Mozilla’s CEO Thursday following an Internet firestorm sparked by his support for California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8.
Mozilla, the nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser, infuriated many employees and users in late March by hiring Eich, a co-founder, to lead the Mountain View company. In 2008, Eich gave $1,000 to the campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that outlawed same-sex marriages in California until the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower-court ruling striking it down.
The contribution was publicly reported and drew some negative attention two years ago, when Eich was Mozilla's chief technology officer. But when he was promoted to CEO, his support of the ban took on more gravitas.
Eich’s appointment prompted board members to quit, a Twitter frenzy and a push back from a leading dating website over his support for the former gay marriage ban.