Multiple employees at Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, have called for the resignation of the new chief executive after it was found he financially backed efforts to ban equal marriage in California.
It was revealed in 2012 that Mr Eich donated $1,000 (£605) in 2008 to the campaign supporting California’s Proposition 8, whilst he was Mozilla’s chief technology officer.
The Prop 8 law banned same-sex marriages in the state and was finally struck down by the US Supreme after years of legal battles in June 2013.
Now several employees have taken to Twitter to express their misgivings towards the new-appointed chief executive.
Sydney Moyer, a member of Mozilla’s engagement team, tweeted recently:
— Sydney Moyer (@sydneymoyer) March 27, 2014
She added: “To be clear, @mozilla’s culture of openness and inclusion is nothing short of amazing. I just feel that this CEO appt does not match that.”
Mozilla Open Badges project lead Chris McAvoy also tweeted:
— Chris McAvoy (@chmcavoy) March 27, 2014
Similar Twitter messages have also appeared on the feeds of Mozilla Festival curator Chloe Vareldi, partnerships lead John Bevan, and designer Jessica Klein.
In a statement to PinkNews on Wednesday, a Mozilla spokesperson defended the appointment of Mr Eich, saying Mozilla “has always been deeply committed to honouring diversity in sexual orientation and beliefs within our staff and community, across all the project’s activities.”
Mozilla refused to say whether it or Mr Eich supported equal marriage.
However, Mr Eich has since broken his silence, saying: “[It is] my personal commitment to work on new initiatives to reach out to those who feel excluded or who have been marginalised in ways that makes their contributing to Mozilla and to open source difficult,” Mr Eich said.
“I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.”
He added: “You will see exemplary behaviour from me toward everyone in our community, no matter who they are; and the same toward all those whom we hope will join, and for those who use our products. Mozilla’s inclusive health benefits policies will not regress in any way. And I will not tolerate behaviour among community members that violates our Community Participation Guidelines or (for employees) our inclusive and non-discriminatory employment policies.”