Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich steps down amid gay rights controversy

Controversial Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO of the internet company after just about one week. His selection for the job was strongly protested because of his stance on gay rights.

Eich donated $1,000 to support California's Proposition 8 in 2008, according to election donation data posted by the Los Angeles Times. Prop 8 aimed to ban gay marriage in that state.

Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker apologized for the company's actions in an open letter online Thursday. She says Eich is stepping down for the company's sake.

She says Mozilla believes in equality and freedom of speech. It is still discussing what is next for its leadership.

During Eich's controversial week at the helm, dating website OkCupid began greeting users of the Firefox browser with a message urging them to use software from a different company.

"We wish Mozilla's institutional commitment to freedom and openness were better reflected by their choice of leadership," OkCupid wrote.

Prior to the OkCupid statement, Eich responded to criticism about his selection as CEO in a blog post on March 26. In that message, he pledged to work to ensure equality in Mozilla events, work with the LGBT community, uphold existing company policies and "reach out to those who feel excluded."

"I am 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," Eich told his employees.

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