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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down 824

Posted by timothy
from the why-you-don't-say dept.
_xeno_ (155264) writes "Mozilla recently named a new CEO, Brendan Eich, and as commentators in that article noted, there could be some backlash over his private contributions to political campaigns. Well, it turns out that they were correct, and despite a statement from Brendan Eich pledging to continue Mozilla's inclusiveness, some Mozilla employees are calling for him to step down. Should private beliefs be enough to prevent someone from heading a project they helped found?"
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

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  • Instantly fired. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:26PM (#46596635)
    At my company, if you start making comments like that, pack your shit.
  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:27PM (#46596649)

    The employees should make sure the door doesn't hit them on the ass on their way out. Modern day McCarthy's.

  • Not private (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:30PM (#46596673)

    They're not private beliefs when you use them as a motivation to fund initiatives based on those beliefs.

  • by Millennium (2451) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:32PM (#46596719) Homepage

    What do you mean by "that"? Whose comments are you talking about?

  • First, I'm absolutely 100% against Prop 8. I'm not gay; I just don't think I should have a say in the relationship between two consenting adults.

    That said, I'm absolutely 100% for Eich's right to have an opinion I disagree with. If he were acting on his opinion in an official capacity, sure, release the dogs of PR war. But if he maintains a nondiscriminatory policy, even if he may personally not like it, then that's about all you have the right to ask of him.

    Remember, sometime it'll be our turn to have an unpopular opinion. Would it be OK for our companies to fire us for them, even if we don't bring them into our workplaces? That's not a society I'd like to live in.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:34PM (#46596749)

    If you are so opposed to this guy's viewpoints that you can't stand to work in the same organization with him, the problem's yours, not his. He's not the one demanding you resign because he doesn't agree with yoru views, you are.

    You intolerant clod.

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:35PM (#46596755) Homepage

    Prop 8 has been a contentious issue for many, and is now largely resolved... yet those who ultimately won are still not happy.

    It is interesting to see how those who supported it (even through a simple donation) are now targets for personal and professional attacks such as this... yet this kind of intolerance for the views of other peoples opinions & donations, does seem to be rather unidirectional, but then that is the typical 'tolerance' that the left in this country believes in.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:36PM (#46596765)

    No one is threatening to fire Eich. The employees disagree with his position and are asking him to step down. It is their right to do so. It is his right to choose not to do so. If he doesn't, it is their right to quit. No one's rights are being infringed upon in this particular situation. Employees disagree with his views towards gay marriage, and so they don't want to work for him. That sounds reasonable to me.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:37PM (#46596773)
    If employees can justify asking the boss to leave because of his personal beliefs, then they should respect the opposite and support the boss when he similarly asks them to leave for theirs.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by almitydave (2452422) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:37PM (#46596777)

    Well, employment law prevents discriminatory hiring/firing practices (based on religious and many other factors), and if the guy is qualified for the role, his beliefs and political advocacy are irrelevant, as are those of the employees who disagree with those beliefs. People who preach tolerance need to be tolerant, and if he practices what he preaches in his linked blog post, there shouldn't be a problem.

    We've had blacklisting based on political associations before, and I thought we all agreed it's a bad thing?

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:38PM (#46596797)

    That conduct was not connected to his job. But if you want to start penalizing private political activity not connected to the job, that can cut the other way too. ACLU members? Fired. GLAAD members? Fired. Get the drift? Are you sure you want to go there?

  • by thevirtualcat (1071504) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:38PM (#46596803)

    I do. It was a pivotal day in the history of the organization.

    His first action as the CEO was to immediately fire anyone who was in any way, shape or form connected to the GBLT community and issue a public statement that says "Fags should use Chrome or IE. Google and Microsoft like you perverts for some reason, but we don't want any of that here." Within a week, he had diverted a substantial portions of Mozilla's revenue to anti-GBLT orgnizations and publicly backed candidates who actively oppose gay rights. There were unsubtantiated rumors he would be working to remove code contributed by GBLT developers from Firefox, but those turned out to be just rumors.

    Oh wait, no. That didn't happen.

    He gave some money to a cause he supports a few years ago that a lot of people disagree with (including me) and didn't apologize for it.

    But I can see how it's easy to get those two things confused.

  • I agree. I was answering the question in the summary, "should private beliefs be enough to prevent someone from heading a project they helped found?"

    Of course not. Unless those beliefs become workplace actions, they should not affect someone's employment.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unixisc (2429386) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:41PM (#46596859)
    It is always conditionally agreed. People agree that blacklisting based on political associations is a bad thing, except when it comes to blacklisting people that they disagree with
  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:42PM (#46596867)

    The reason why the attacks are unidirectional is because gay marriage, or the larger issue of gay rights, is a human rights issue. All you need to do is look back across history to figure out if the side that protects, or the side that attacks, human rights is the "right" side. It's pretty obvious. In the future, people opposed to gay rights today are going to be seen similarly to those who fought against civil rights in the 60s. 2 men or 2 women getting married has the same impact on your life as a black man marrying a white woman. There is no reason to not allow that. The only justification people have for not supporting gay rights is because of their own prejudice.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:42PM (#46596869)

    That conduct was not connected to his job. But if you want to start penalizing private political activity not connected to the job

    But it is related to the job: He is the public face of Mozilla. As the CEO, his behavior reflects on Mozilla.

  • Re:No.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lazere (2809091) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:46PM (#46596929)
    Woah there sparky. We all know Javascript is bad, but comparing it to the blink tag? That's just offensive.
  • by Quila (201335) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:46PM (#46596935)

    So when Michael Bloomberg was CEO of Bloomberg LP, or Steve Case head of AOL, they should have been forced to step down because they "actively and publicly contributed to and campaigned for" taking away gun rights from the people. Right?

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaHat (247651) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:48PM (#46596961) Homepage

    Correct, remember the other side though.

    While employment law prohibits (not prevents) discriminatory hiring/firing practices... some of these employees have likely crossed a line outside of any kind of protection... in that they are effectively being insubordinate of the current management and in most cases is a fire-able offense.

    Just like in a civil war, if you are unable to stay neutral, best choose your side carefully, because if you back the wrong side you will probably be in a world of pain when it's all done.

  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:49PM (#46596963)

    It is related to their jobs. As movie directors and writers they are credited by name. They are the public face of MGM. Their behavior reflects on the studio and it is reasonable to blacklist communists.

  • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:50PM (#46596977)
    Pretty sure AC means the Tweets from the rank and file saying the new boss should to step down. It's fair to expect some blowback for that, but the new boss also needs to understand if he's toxic to the people who will be making him succeed or fail as well.
  • Re:No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:52PM (#46597011) Homepage

    The boss doesn't ask employees to leave. The employee just gets to work one day and find their desk on the front lawn.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:53PM (#46597019)

    Do you agree with every political, philosophical, or religious opinion of all your superiors?

    From what I've heard expressed, generally yes, I do.

    Do you refuse to work for anyone who disagrees with you?

    If it is an issue that is important enough to me, sure. For example, if I am interviewing with a company and I find out that the CEO is actively supporting a campaign to restrict the human rights of a large class of people, then that would be enough to get me to not want to enrich that person.

    Do you ask everyone above or below you in the hierarchy to step down if they hold an opinion you don't like?

    Just a simple difference in opinion? No, I wouldn't, but I don't think we're talking about a simple difference of opinion here.

  • by christianT (604736) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:54PM (#46597033)

    A company's products are the public face of a company, not the CEO. Until this whole debacle I hadn't a clue who the CEO of Mozilla is or ever has been. What I knew of Mozilla was that they made a pretty darn good web browser among other things. The CEO is there to make sure they keep making a good browser and that the employees are taken care of. If the browser goes to crap or the employees are being mistreated, then he should be ousted.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:55PM (#46597041) Journal

    How is his stance related to the job, other than it is unpopular?

    If that is all that you care about (popular opinions of the left) , which seems to the point, then it WILL cut both ways. This is the tyranny that the left opposes except when it benefits them. Think about it this way, what if the NRA said that the CEO of Startbucks should be fired for his comments about people with guns (CC permits) not being welcomed at Starbucks? I mean, THAT does affect Starbucks, but is also SIMPLY a political belief, having nothing to do with coffee and crumpets.

    The left LOVES to mix their business with political beliefs. Had Right Wingers known that they support suppression of speech, I'm sure that would have done so earlier.

    Libertarians don't give a shit as long as people get the job they were hired to do, done.

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:55PM (#46597049) Homepage

    The employees FIRED the CEO. What an odd company!

    Hey wait! They ASKED him to step down and have no actual ability to fire him.

  • Social 'Justice' (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:55PM (#46597057)

    So basically, because this guy doesn't enthusiastically cheer for and support gays at every opportunity, he deserves the boot? Doesn't he have a right to express and support his values, too? As an atheist, I think religion is nuts, but the same rights that allow these gay employees to voice their displeasure in the first place, without being booted themselves, should protect him as well. There is no 'controversy' here.

    Marriage, religion, and gay rights should have nothing to do with running a software company, which is what he was hired to do. Let him do it. If he sucks at it, then fire him. If he does a good job, then reward him. Part of being an employee is that sometimes you have to work with people you don't like, and this applies equally to him as well as to these gay employees. Apparently, these professional victims think that life lesson should not apply to them, only to their political enemies. Their crocodile tears on twitter do not impress, either, as they are acting like he victimized them just by taking the job at Mozilla. That's bullshit.

    Workplaces should be amoral, apolitical places. You were hired to do a job, so was he. Do your jobs well and there'll be no time for stupid political wrangling from any side.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @04:55PM (#46597059)

    tit for tat, I say.

    more and more, companies are invading your home life and privacy. you want this job, here, piss in a bottle since you are guilty unless you prove otherwise.

    what a person may choose to do at home while off-work is their business. right? well, companies don't seem to think so. they want to invade your lifestyle choices and penalize you for it.

    well, same here! we have every right to inspect the CEO's personality and character and if its not 'in line' with our core beliefs, sure, send him packing!

    when companies stop invading our home life styles, we will stop asking the c-levels about theirs.

    fair is fair.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:00PM (#46597111)

    or maybe those people need to grow spines and realize that work is not the same thing as a party, where they get to choose who they associate with. As long as he treats them no differently than other employees, the problem lies squarely with the complainers.

  • It could be argued, yes, but down that path lies madness: "my boss campaigned heavily for Obama. I don't believe he will treat me, an open Republican, fairly."

    Again, I disagree with Eich. I'm am not defending his (to me) awful opinions. But I've known plenty of people with shitty opinions who nonetheless treated those around them with dignity and respect. If he acts on his beliefs, then it's time to react.

  • "Asked to step down" != "fired". He was promoted from inside the company, and they feel that he shouldn't have been.

    Oh, and if you don't want your political contributions to become a big deal in the workplace, I have a couple recommendations:
    1) Don't become a CEO. The CEO represents the company. The policies of a new CEO are assumed, with reason, to be the intended policies of the company. People care about that stuff, in ways that they're never going to care about one AC on Slashdot.
    2) Don't do it publicly! A few thousand dollars quietly donated to one cause or another isn't generally going to alter anybody's opinion of you, because they won't know. A few thousand dollars publicly and visibly donated to a very controversial, discriminatory cause? Well, that's going to grab some attention. It still won't make headlines though, unless people have reason to believe you're in a position to discriminate against others going forward. See #1...

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:03PM (#46597157) Homepage

    The reason why the attacks are unidirectional is because gay marriage

    I wasn't talking just about same sex marriage... why are you?

    or the larger issue of gay rights

    At last check... gay individuals had the same rights as straight ones... and while sometimes those rights may not line up with preferences (ie right to marry someone of the opposite sex where desire is to marry someone of the same sex), the right remains the same regardless... you purposely try to pain the issue as something more than its not.

    is a human rights issue.

    Again... you prove my point of intolerance from the left... and that one need only call something a 'human rights' or 'civil rights' issue until you make enough people agree through education & politics... or fear mongering and blacklisting.

    Guess which you are supporting?

    All you need to do is look back across history to figure out if the side that protects, or the side that attacks, human rights is the "right" side.

    History tends to be written by the victors... yet up until just two years ago, the President of the United States claimed to be against same-sex marriage... does that mean up until then he should have been viewed as a homophobic and anti-gay bigot? No? Interesting the continued double standard... or do you think history will record it that way?

    2 men or 2 women getting married has the same impact on your life as a black man marrying a white woman.

    You assume I care about either, your point?

    There is no reason to not allow that.

    Again... do you have a point? It's been clear for some time which way the tide was going... yet the issue is less today about the 'right' to marry someone of the same sex, but of the compulsion to force others to recognize it... and no, I don't mean at the court house, but of even a florist or baker being able to say they do not agree with the union and cannot provide services for such an event.

    The only justification people have for not supporting gay rights is because of their own prejudice.

    Yet the prejudices of those who see prejudices everywhere are emboldened to lash out against anyone they deem as not being sufficiently supportive of the current cause celeb... as we see in this case here.

    Intolerance of perceived intolerance is still bigotry... and if anything, those who are calling for the stepping down of Eich are proving the (lack) of quality of their characters as they cannot handle the idea of working for someone who may have once disagreed with them.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:03PM (#46597159) Journal

    Gay marriage isn't about rights, it is about benefits granted by government. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Most gay people oppose Polygamy, even though that is exactly the same issue, government deciding who can and who can't be "married" (Defining Marriage). Why do they oppose polygamy (polyandry, other plural marriages)? Historically, there is much more evidence of polygamy and even polyandry being "legal" forms of marriage than homosexual marriages.

    Here is my view, as a Libertarian: Government has no right to define what is or what isn't marriage. Period. Individuals are the only people with rights, therefore, marriage is simply a contract between two people. And at that point, it is no longer something that government has a say in. The opponents of gay marriage, made the mistake all along of suggesting that it was a right for only Heterosexual people. It isn't a right, it is a contract, and a sacred one at that (religious). If the Muslims and Mormons want to define marriage to have their polygamy, then that is who defines marriage for them.

  • How is his stance related to the job, other than it is unpopular?

    Proposition 8 passed with 52.24% of the voters voting FOR it. Please define "unpopular." Perhaps it is just that the people against Prop 8 were a lot more vocal?

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:07PM (#46597199) Homepage

    Ug... posted the wrong reply above... instead I meant to ask/say...

    Bigger question... where is the campaign to have President Obama step down as he was against same sex marriage when he ran for national office back in 2008 (and previously)... and only more recently 'evolved' on the issue.

    Shouldn't a (former?) bigot like him be compelled to resign for his previous sins?

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:08PM (#46597203)
    Yes, they have similar responsibilities to their employer (to make a bona fide effort do do the work they were hired for), and also similar rights to their own personal beliefs.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:09PM (#46597217) Homepage

    Should private beliefs be enough to prevent someone from heading a project they helped found?

    No, but he didn't keep his beliefs private, he tried to turn them into law. And that still doesn't mean he can't head the project, it just means a lot of people may walk away from it, and Mozilla.org needs to consider that.

    Is the backlash itself justified? Well, to some, including myself, it is a bit like supporting segregation in the 1950s. Right now, it is a mainstream political view to believe that gay people should not have equal rights. There's a hundred thousand years of evolution behind that belief, and it is not realistic to expect everyone to switch that internal belief off at the drop of a hat -- no more than it was possible for people in the 1950s to instantly accept equal treatment of black people.

    But what good people did do in the 1950s was stop expressing their prejudice. They stopped supporting segregation, and stopped saying that they found it to be an acceptable practice. Most of them still had that deep internal programming. Most people still have it to some extent today. Hundreds of thousands of years of "different looking means dangerous" genetic programming isn't going to go away overnight. But we have reached a point where we treat those beliefs as flawed baser instincts, like the desire to hit a person over the head and steal their BMW. We repress those feelings because we believe in being better than that.

    We have reached a point in our society where prejudicial treatment of black people is no longer accepted. We will reach that point with gay people too, and Mozilla will be as embarrassed of having an unrepentant bigot for a CEO as Walt Disney Corp is of Walt's anti-Semitism. It is not that Mozilla should be forbidden from doing so, it is just a question of showing good judgment.

    Mozilla, tell Eich to figure it out and recant his position. It's OK to be unable to overcome your baser instincts; that is a reality of being a flawed human. I'll admit that my instinctive reaction to the idea of gay sex is not pleasant. But it is not OK to express prejudicial beliefs or to support prejudicial laws.

  • I don't think we're talking about a simple difference of opinion here.

    That's your opinion.

    Okay, I'm being a little snarky, but, seriously, if it's not a difference of opinion what is it? We're talking about an issue about which the nation is pretty deeply divided, and it's not really a boolean question, either. There is a whole range of opinions. The implication of your statements is that you consider opposition to gay marriage such a hateful position that those who hold it must be bad people, with whom you cannot associate in any capacity, even if the association has nothing to do with that question. That means that you consider a majority of Americans to be said "bad people". Perhaps you should reconsider your various relationships with all of them? Perhaps you shouldn't be a resident of the United States (assuming you are) since the majority nationwide opposes gay marriage?

    FWIW, I opposed prop 8 and think the fight against gay marriage is silly and doomed, because there's simply no justification for it under the 14th amendment. Personally, I'd rather just get government out of the business of recognizing marriage in any form, but if we're not going to do that there's no way to refuse homosexual marriage. Nor polygamy, for that matter.

  • by DaHat (247651) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:12PM (#46597255) Homepage

    Wrong. It was overturned because Prop. 8 was clearly unconstitutional. Study civil rights law as I have and you'll understand.

    Wrong... in so many ways.

    If you actually read the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker you'd realize that he was inventing much of his ruling out of whole cloth... in the end the reason Prop 8 was struck down actually has less to do with 'civil rights law' as you claim and more to do with standing.

    Vaughn Walker struck down P8 yes, on flimsy grounds. The state of California then opted not to appeal... effectively guaranteeing it remained overturned as they were the only entity which could have defended it.

    While it's true that there was an effort by individuals & groups to defend it on behalf of the voters who had passed it, they ultimately lost because they did not have standing in the case.

    Like the outcome all you want, but fear the process.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:12PM (#46597259)

    Somehow... birth control (which was already widely available prior to Obamacare) is now a civil right to receive for free and from your employer.

    First, there has been no decision on that case, only arguments. As to whether contraception is a civil rights issue, it sounds like that depends which gender you are. The female justices supported the right of employees to receive contraception through insurance, while the male justices were more skeptical.

    Don't forget, just this week we had a case before the Supreme Court over the question over whether the government has the authority to compel private individuals to violate their religious beliefs and directly pay for medications which in their views (rightly or wrongly) cause abortions.

    Based on how you phrased that, it is obvious where your own personal bias lies. So, allow me to point out that no, the government is not currently compelling employers to pay for medication. The corporation has the choice to not provide insurance for their employees, and instead pay the fine. The justices noted that this is their choice, and that in fact the fine is less than the cost of insurance.

    You've called them "private individuals", but that is not correct. The owners of the company have no requirement to provide insurance. The actual company as a legal entity does. One of the justices rightly asked the question of how the religion of a company can be determined.

    They also pointed to the case of an Amish farmer suing the government because he did not want to pay social security taxes for his employees, because paying taxes violated his religious beliefs. He did not win that case. Religious beliefs do not trump everything else. I can start a religion that believes that black people should be eradicated from the planet, but that does not give me the right to murder people. A person who owns a corporation is free to believe that contraception is a sin, but that does not make them exempt from providing insurance to their employees or paying a fine. That's the way it is. If they have a problem with that, then there are several countries where religion and law are the same, they can move there. In my country, religion is not law.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hubie (108345) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:13PM (#46597263)
    Just like Jon Stewart said about entitlements (in context of the Megyn Kelly maternity leave comments):

    Here's the thing about entitlements. They're really only entitlements when they're something other people want. When it's something you want, they're a hallmark of a civilized society, the foundation of a great people. I just had a baby and found out maternity leave strengthens society. But since I still have a job, unemployment benefits are clearly socialism.

  • Isn't it ironic .. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DTentilhao (3484023) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:21PM (#46597341)
    Isn't it ironic that the very people who are asking for more tolerance are totally intolerant of any opposing views ..
  • I don't *ask* about the political opinions of my superiors. If they *told* me they contributed to Prop 8, though, yeah I'd have a bloody big problem with that!

    Also, "agree" and "disagree" are not a simple binary state. For example, I don't agree with the religious views of some of my friends. That's OK, we don't talk religion. Now, if I found out they were funding efforts to inject religious beliefs into public school curriculum, yeah, *THAT* would be a problem. (It seems unlikely they would, from the little we've talked about the subject, though I've never asked).

    There are lots of things way less important to me than marriage equality (I'm straight, but a lot of my friends are not). I will be a lot more upset over somebody publicly and financially avowing support for a policy like Prop 8 than I will be over, say, a similar level support for bank bailouts (which I also disagree with, but which there's at least some argument to be made for)

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:24PM (#46597383)

    That's right, some issues are more equal than others.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:24PM (#46597389)
    "People agree that blacklisting based on political associations is a bad thing, except when it comes to blacklisting people that they disagree with"

    Exactly. McAvoy exhibits the highest level of hypocrisy:

    McAvoy added that he feels fortunate to work at a company like Mozilla, "where I can say that without fear of retribution."

    ...plainly admitting that he's glad they respect his right to hold and voice his own beliefs, while simultaneously encouraging them to not respect those he doesn't agree with (which, BTW, were in the majority).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:25PM (#46597391)
    No kidding. These idiots need to look past Eich's political views to his ability to run the organization. Bitching about the boss' politics isn't productive and makes the whiners look pathetic.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andymadigan (792996) <amadigan@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:27PM (#46597423)
    Mozilla can absolutely fire them, but how much talent are they willing to shed so that this guy can be CEO? In Silicon Valley, a lot of these people can probably walk across the street and get a new job, even if their explicit reason for leaving the last one was that the new CEO supported Prop 8. Mozilla's board has got to be thinking about how much damage could be done before this guy has really even started.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:35PM (#46597529) Journal

    Well, employment law prevents discriminatory hiring/firing practices (based on religious and many other factors), and if the guy is qualified for the role, his beliefs and political advocacy are irrelevant, as are those of the employees who disagree with those beliefs. People who preach tolerance need to be tolerant, and if he practices what he preaches in his linked blog post, there shouldn't be a problem.

    We've had blacklisting based on political associations before, and I thought we all agreed it's a bad thing?

    Being conservative is not a protected class. It's not that rare at certain kinds of companies for people to be shown the door if they're "outed" as a conservative (possibly the most famous being the editor of Playgirl).

    For the most part, when people preach "tolerance" they mean "believe everything on my checklist exactly like I do without question", as the word "tolerance" is just a tribal identification signal, not an actual belief. That's really common these days, and I'm really tired of being told I'm a bigot for advocating acceptance of many cultural views!

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:43PM (#46597613) Homepage

    You are speaking of a mere difference of opinion. If the boss actively campaigned to strip Republicans of their rights, then yes, it would be quite similar.

  • Would we... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WillyWanker (1502057) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:46PM (#46597635)

    ...even be having this conversation if he donated money to the KKK?

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:48PM (#46597651) Journal

    Sure, there's an imbalance, but it's far worse is when the boss is also the owner. When the boss is just another employee of the owners, the imbalance is much smaller (heck, a fired of mine who was manager almost got fired himself for asking one of his reports to resign without filling out the paperwork first!). I've also seen managers told "no" when they wanted to fire someone, and I've seen a manager nearly get fired when all the engineers in her group threatened to leave, and a couple of them had left.

    Either way, we've gone over the top in America in our intolerance of opposing political religious beliefs! WTF does it matter what you co-workers' belief on gay marriage or abortion is, if you're writing software?!?

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:54PM (#46597721)

    Take what shit? He hasn't mistreated them. He hasn't even had the opportunity to do so yet. I guarantee that there are people you are working with right now that have made personal decisions that you would not agree with. That's not oppression.

  • by terbeaux (2579575) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:57PM (#46597761)
    His presence negatively affects public perception of the business. If they were publicly traded then the share holders could vote him out based on that alone. Bigots are bad for business image.
  • Irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by therealkevinkretz (1585825) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @05:59PM (#46597783)

    So McAvoy is glad he can express feelings without fear of retribution but because of the CEO's private views, *he* should suffer it? What hypocrisy.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:07PM (#46597851)

    Why can't 2 men get married to 2 women? Surely that's a human rights issue too. How does it effect you if 4 people all get married?
    Why are you so against polygamy?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:26PM (#46598049)

    Mozilla is already highly political. They view their product as a tool to help further their goals of increased freedom.

    Like freedom of speech? Freedom of conscience? The freedom to express your personal views? That kind of freedom?

    Who do these complainers think they are; declaring that someone should lose their job, just because they have different beliefs? It's a good thing that they're not the ones in charge, because that kind of attitude is exactly what can lose you your job - and land you in court.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @06:50PM (#46598287)

    The thing is, they're in a bit of a sticky situation.

    - If Mozilla lets him go, they'll get backlash from libertarians, conservatives, and tea party types. The civil libertarians aren't (typically) anti-gay, but they generally don't respond well to calls for boycotts over something somebody said as their affinity for freedom of expression takes precedence.
    - If Mozilla keeps him, they'll get backlash from the gay lobby (for lack of a better term.)

    Neither is a particularly good thing to have, though (and here's where the irony is) staying their existing course would be safest *if* the gay lobby does an all out assault on this one. Recall chic-fil-a who actually saw record revenues from backlash during that incident. Similar things have also happened to other businesses who have snubbed their nose at the gay lobby; the only ones that don't continue are the ones that succumb to e.g. the death threats. This sort of plays into the theory of there being no such thing as bad publicity, which tends to be true in most cases.

    Ironically, if the gay lobby just does a quiet boycott (i.e. they switch browsers without any fanfare) then they might actually succeed.

    As for me, I really like the Firefox browser, I feel it is a lot more flexible, even if a tad buggy compared to chrome, and IE is a joke. One thing's for sure in any case: It's nice having a choice between two really good browsers. I feel the same way about Linux Mint, by the way, whose founder made a bunch of anti-semitic remarks (I myself believe Israel is in the right on that one.) I also loved the movie Ender's Game; really well done, and it didn't contain any gay related themes in it, either for or against.

  • by HatofPig (904660) <clintonthegeek@g ... m minus caffeine> on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:42PM (#46598735) Homepage

    Hierarchical model of masters and servants has been discredited long ago.

    Nice switcheroo. Organizing people hierarchically is not a discredited notion. Having masters and servents is. In real life,we play pre-defined roles in larger groups and even dress differently depending on what our role is. That's how civilization functions. Your boss doesn't legally own you, and have full control over your person 24/7.

    We can have creativity, expression, and mutal respect within hiearchies, and often with them we can rise or fall within organizing structure. This is Slashdot, aren't you familier with computer programming? Structures matter, hierarchies are as elemental to structures as hydrogen is to chemistry. If they weren't hippies would rule the world.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:55PM (#46598811) Journal

    In US, a CEO being publicly atheist will very likely affect the public perception of the business negatively. Does that make it a valid concern? Should it be? I don't think so. As a CEO, he is hired to do a specific job, and his private political views have nothing to do with that job. It would be a different matter if he was giving public speeches or otherwise trying to associate his name with the anti-gay-marriage cause, but as it is, all that is there is a donation that is only public because the law requires it to be, and he didn't advertise it in any way. This makes it a very different situation from, say, Orson Scott Card.

  • by gig (78408) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @07:58PM (#46598849)

    this is about PUBLIC ACTIONS. Nobody is responsible for Brendan Eich's public actions except Brendan Eich. He reaps what he sowed just like we all do.

    Brendan Eich publicly funded a political campaign to destroy the marriages and families of about 25% of his fellow Californians. Some of whom work for Mozilla, and some of whom partner with Mozilla. Private beliefs are something that is private, inside your own head. Publicly funding the Prop 8 campaign is public, and takes place well outside of Brendan Eich's own head.

    Had Brendan Eich kept his hatred and bigotry inside his own head he would be OK right now. There are CEO's who are racist bigots and they keep it to themselves. What Brendan Eich did by comparison was sign up for the KKK and donate thousands of dollars to *successfully* reimplementing racial segregation in California, by aligning himself with money and groups that came mostly from outside California. Because of the actions of Brendan Eich and other bigots like him, millions of Californians were told by their government to start sitting at the back of the bus, and this went on for years while the courts laboriously went through everything and said, yes, we already knew that creating second-class citizens was wrong. No, you don't have the right to make them into second-class citizens.

    Married couples were told that their marriages were invalid. People died while their marriages were invalidated, and their partners got kicked out of the home they had lived in for years because the house was taxed as a gift between two platonic friends.

    Me, I am not going to be involved in anything Mozilla-related while this bigot fuck is CEO. I took Firefox out of my development targets. Not because of Brendan Eich's “beliefs” but because of his actions.

  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:00PM (#46599211)

    You can have personal beliefs. It only becomes a problem when your personal beliefs mean you are a bigot.

    I think you can justify firing or not hiring someone for a upper management job if their personal beliefs indicate they are stupid or crazy or bigoted. In the same way that having a shitty GPA might mean you don't understand the material you are supposed to, believing that the moon landing was fake, or that evolution is "just" a theory, or that black people are lamanites, or that homosexuality is a sin, etc, might indicate that someone is a fucking idiot, and maybe not the best choice to inspire confidence of all his subordinates.

  • by devent (1627873) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:11PM (#46599301) Homepage

    > So basically, because this guy doesnt enthusiastically cheer for and support gays at every opportunity, he deserves the boot?

    No, because he donated to a law that would remove or prohibit benefits, right and privileges to couples only because they were born homosexual. He actively wants to discriminate a minority because of his personal believes.

    > Their crocodile tears on twitter do not impress, either, as they are acting like he victimized them just by taking the job at Mozilla. Thats bullshit.

    No, Mozilla employees just don't want to see Mozilla, a brand that they helped to create, be associated with someone who actively wants to discriminate a minority. They are worried that a bigot like Brendan Eich is associated with Mozilla.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:12PM (#46599305) Homepage

    My co-worker? It doesn't matter one whit. He doesn't write my annual review or determine if I get the week off or if I get a raise. He can hate me and my opinion all he wants.

    My boss? A mere difference of opinion is fine as long as we can be adult about it. If he has publicly called for me and people like me to be stripped of rights and made second class citizens AND put his personal money into helping to make that happen, anyone with half a brain should be able to figure out that there's a high potential for a problem there.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:18PM (#46599351)
    The fact that you think think this is a complex issue doesn't make it complex.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:23PM (#46599371)
    This.

    Above all, I think they need to remember they are employees.

    Eich's beliefs mean nothing, as long as he doesn't practice them at work. Just as the employee's sexual orientation means nothing, as long as he doesn't practice it at work.

    A lot of people today need to pull their noses out of everybody else's asses, and everybody else's business, and start living their own lives for a change.

    And yes, if an employee of mine made public comments about not wanting me as CEO because of my politics, I would show him the door in an instant. He could take his stuff home with him right then, and not come back... just wait to get his final paycheck in the mail.

    That's not discrimination... that's just low tolerance for bullshit. It has nothing to do with the employee's own politics. Only with the fact that he was objecting -- publicly -- ABOUT his boss's politics, whatever they happen to be.
  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:31PM (#46599415)

    What part of this is complex? What are the nuances of prop 8? Why might a reasonable person without retarded religious baggage support discriminating against people based on their sexuality?

    Please enlighten me.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:22PM (#46599643)

    It's short sighted ultimately to think that you can demand your boss match your political and religious views. Because the same can happen the other way even more easily, the boss can demand that employees have a particular mindset as well, lay people off for being in the wrong party or being raised in the wrong religion, etc.

    It's short sighted to demand political correctness because it never lasts and will only come back to bite people over time. As soon at one mental litmus test becomes accepted it opens the door for other litmus tests.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:37PM (#46599711)

    What's odd is that he had been an employee long before being CEO. Was there any campaign to force him as an employee to resign? Likely not because HR would have cracked down on that instantly as harrassment.

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