, SAN FRANCISCO, April 3 – The chief of Firefox browser maker Mozilla is stepping down in the face of controversy stirred by his support of a California bill to ban gay marriage.
Brendon Eich voluntarily surrendered his role as chief executive of Mozilla along with his seat on the board of the non-profit foundation that owns the corporation, according to a blog post by executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker.
Eich has been the target of outrage in the typically open minded community devoted to improving and spreading free Firefox open source Web browsing software.
The backlash sprung from news of a cash donation he made in 2008 to support passage of a California law banning gay marriage; a move he has never publicly backed away from.
“We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: its because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” Baker said.
“We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”
Baker maintained that Mozilla believe in equality and freedom of speech. She said it remained to be determined who would replace Eich.