bit-tech.net

Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Brendan Eich has officially resigned from his post as chief executive officer of Mozilla, relinquishing his board seat over a firestorm surrounding his donation to an anti-equality campaign.

Controversial chief executive of the Mozilla Corporation Brendan Eich has stepped down, both as CEO and as a member of the Mozilla board, following public outcry over a political donation in opposition to gay marriage.

Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla, was upgrade from chief technical officer to chief executive officer late last month in a private vote by the board, which immediately led to calls for a boycott against the non-profit company. Those calling for his dismissal pointed to a personal donation of $1,000 Eich made to lobbying efforts in favour of Proposition 8, a US law which would have made gay marriage illegal. Those who support equality, not to mention people in gay marriages, were naturally opposed to the proposition.

While Eich's tenure as CTO appeared to slip under the radar, his appointment to the post of CEO did not. Many, including numerous Mozilla employees and project contributors, questioned how a man who has made a public donation in efforts to curtail others' rights could possibly lead an organisation that prides itself on inclusiveness. A statement by Eich failed to address the donation at all, merely pledging to continue to support - and to improve - inclusiveness at the company.

Now, with the public still baying for blood, Eich is out. 'Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO,' executive chair Mitchell Baker announced late yesterday. 'He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

'Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,
' admitted Baker. 'We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.'

'I’ve resigned as CEO and I’m leaving Mozilla to take a rest, take some trips with my family, look at problems from other angles, and see if the “network problem” has a solution that doesn’t require scaling up to hundreds of millions of users and winning their trust while somehow covering costs,' Eich announced in a personal blog post. 'That’s a rare, hard thing, which I’m proud to have done with Firefox at Mozilla. I encourage all Mozillians to keep going. Firefox OS is even more daunting, and more important. Thanks indeed to all who have supported me, and to all my colleagues over the years, at Mozilla, in standards bodies, and at conferences around the world. I will be less visible online, but still around.'

No successor to the role of CEO has yet been named.

75 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Corky42 4th April 2014, 12:18 Quote
Just a heads up..
Quote:
Mozilla employees and project contributors, questioned how a many who has made a public donation in efforts to curtain others
I'm guessing that should read "man" and "curtail"
Gareth Halfacree 4th April 2014, 12:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I'm guessing that should read "man" and "curtail"
Guess these 12-hour days are beginning to catch up to me. Fixed, ta!
Umbra 4th April 2014, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
Leaves the CEO's office and the board.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/20...h-steps-down/1

If you play with fire..
Umbra 4th April 2014, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Leaves the CEO's office and the board.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2014/04/04/eich-steps-down/1

If you play with Fire..

Double post, still some weird things happening around here?
law99 4th April 2014, 13:58 Quote
Does seem odd that no one cared when he was CTO.

Not really sure what to think about this one.
Guinevere 4th April 2014, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
Does seem odd that no one cared when he was CTO.

Not true, it did flare up at the time.

But "not sacking someone for their personal beliefs" is not the same as "promoting someone to the top dog in the entire company even though his personal beliefs are incompatible with the publicly stated aims and direction of the organisation".

Mozilla professes to be a very fair, open and inclusive organisation and having a homophobe (There I said it) as the CEO wasn't right.

Edit: Couldn't post this on the article page as I had an invalid security token apparently.
Gareth Halfacree 4th April 2014, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Edit: Couldn't post this on the article page as I had an invalid security token apparently.
Yarp, looks like something's snapped in the transfer. I'll flag it with the elves, get it sorted. Cheers for the heads-up!
Snips 4th April 2014, 18:23 Quote
A very good move Mozilla, you stay classy ;)
law99 4th April 2014, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Not true, it did flare up at the time.

But "not sacking someone for their personal beliefs" is not the same as "promoting someone to the top dog in the entire company even though his personal beliefs are incompatible with the publicly stated aims and direction of the organisation".

Mozilla professes to be a very fair, open and inclusive organisation and having a homophobe (There I said it) as the CEO wasn't right.

Edit: Couldn't post this on the article page as I had an invalid security token apparently.

I dont know enough about the man to say he is homophobic. Prop 8 I dont know enough about either but there are people who aren't homophobic, that don't believe in same sex marriage, however irrational their stance outwardly appears.

Maybe I need to read more about him but his own statement on the subject was there would be no change in Mozilla's stance to freedom. Perhaps I am unaware that he has called homosexuals subhuman?
Cthippo 4th April 2014, 22:28 Quote
Regardless of his beliefs, it says something about his ability to lead that he didn't address this issue before now. All we know is that he made the donation, and we're inferring his values from that. By not going in front of the cameras and saying "These are my values and this is why I made the donation" he allowed a vacuum of information to be filled in by whatever people wanted to see.

Contrast that with GM CEO Mary Barra who was also in the news this week. Despite the fact that she was not CEO when the decisions were made that led to the problems her company faces, she was out in front of the cameras offering explanations and doing the best she could to preserve the company's public image.

Whatever Eich's values are, I would say that his handling of this issue did not inspire confidence in Mozilla and that had to be a contributing factor in his departure.
Nexxo 4th April 2014, 23:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
I dont know enough about the man to say he is homophobic. Prop 8 I dont know enough about either but there are people who aren't homophobic, that don't believe in same sex marriage, however irrational their stance outwardly appears.

Maybe I need to read more about him but his own statement on the subject was there would be no change in Mozilla's stance to freedom. Perhaps I am unaware that he has called homosexuals subhuman?

He certainly does not accord them the same rights as heterosexuals.

Never mind his personal beliefs. He is entitled to have them. He is not entitled to impose them on others, which is what Proposition 8 aimed to do. If this man wishes to impose his personal beliefs on society at large, who is to say that he won't impose them on his company staff? He is already demonstrating a lack of appropriate boundaries.
Guinevere 5th April 2014, 01:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
there are people who aren't homophobic, that don't believe in same sex marriage

Erm...

That holds as much water as a statements such as:

"There are people who aren't racist, that don't believe in allowing blacks to paid the same as white folk"
"There are people who aren't misogynistic, that don't believe in allowing girls to get an education"
"There are people who aren't peodophiles, that don't believe there should be a legal age of consent"

If you think of women as inferior or not as worthy / important as men you're misogynistic.
If you think those of a different race should not be granted the same rights as yourself, then you're a racist.
If you think homosexuals should not be granted the same rights as straight people, then you're a homophobe.

It's not identifying as a homophobe that makes someone a homophobe, it's their thoughts, words and deeds.

It doesn't count to be homophobic by supporting the withholding of rights and and then say "I'm not a homophobe, but..."

The man paid to support a motion which had the sole aim of withholding rights held by straight people from homosexual people.

Supporting that motion was a homophobic act.
The man hasn't changed his mind.
Therefore, the man is a homophobe. End. Of

But he's ALLOWED to be a homophobe. I'm GLAD he's allowed this rights, because rights are important!

I'm sure he'd make a wonderful Republican Senator but he was a rubbish choice for CEO of Mozilla.
SlowMotionSuicide 5th April 2014, 09:38 Quote
"Picking up on the intolerance of dissent theme, the progressive left has mastered the practice of smearing people as "hateful" for simply having opposing views on questions of public policy."

I'm all for equal gay rights, but I also don't think people should be condemned just for having a different opinion, no matter how much you dislike it.
Corky42 5th April 2014, 10:15 Quote
The problem is when someone attempts to turn their personal opinion into a law that effects others.
No one is saying he can't believe what ever he likes, but when someone tries to impose that belief onto others it crosses the line, from the freedom of speech/thought to restricting other peoples freedoms.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 10:55 Quote
Precisely.
law99 5th April 2014, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Erm...

That holds as much water as a statements such as:

"There are people who aren't racist, that don't believe in allowing blacks to paid the same as white folk"
"There are people who aren't misogynistic, that don't believe in allowing girls to get an education"
"There are people who aren't peodophiles, that don't believe there should be a legal age of consent"

If you think of women as inferior or not as worthy / important as men you're misogynistic.
If you think those of a different race should not be granted the same rights as yourself, then you're a racist.
If you think homosexuals should not be granted the same rights as straight people, then you're a homophobe.

It's not identifying as a homophobe that makes someone a homophobe, it's their thoughts, words and deeds.

It doesn't count to be homophobic by supporting the withholding of rights and and then say "I'm not a homophobe, but..."

The man paid to support a motion which had the sole aim of withholding rights held by straight people from homosexual people.

Supporting that motion was a homophobic act.
The man hasn't changed his mind.
Therefore, the man is a homophobe. End. Of

But he's ALLOWED to be a homophobe. I'm GLAD he's allowed this rights, because rights are important!

I'm sure he'd make a wonderful Republican Senator but he was a rubbish choice for CEO of Mozilla.

I agree with you. But my statement is still true as I said I didn't know about Prop 8. You can not believe in gay marriage and not be a homophobe. If you genuinely believe that a civil partnership is equal.

I don't think that a civil partnership is equal. This is demonstrated in other threads on this very forum.

My grandmother is a fag hag for Christ's sake who doesn't believe in gay marriage. She has a gay grandson who lives with his partner. She loves him, no questions asked. In her mind civil partnership was equality. She is 90 years old and still goes down Rubys with a gay man now and again.

My mother is pretty similar. I can tell you right now that there would be no fear in my mind if I had to come out as gay to her. Yet she falls into the same category.

Now, in light of me reading about Prop 8, I can tell you I *DO* agree with you that supporting Prop 8 is homophobic.

The big issue with this is that the community now doesn't want you to be in a position of power if you had free speech and/or will if it didn't fall into lovely little perfect boxes where all the good people are shining beacons of pure Jesus love and the bad people are Republicans. I don't think for one second he was going to use his position of power to quash the rights of LGBT employees at Mozilla or their projects and partners.

Where does that end? Now if the next CEO is Republican and he gives money to a candidate that the community doesn't like, apparently you have to apologise or resign. Presumably this could happen with a Democrat candidate also. For instance, Hillary Clinton doesn't believe in same sex marriage... should the next Mozilla CEO be allowed to support Hillary Clinton?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
The problem is when someone attempts to turn their personal opinion into a law that effects others.
No one is saying he can't believe what ever he likes, but when someone tries to impose that belief onto others it crosses the line, from the freedom of speech/thought to restricting other peoples freedoms.

But now you are forcing him to resign on the basis that because he supported something completely external to company policy he must not be able to separate politics from his business.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 12:00 Quote
This is not about his beliefs or not being a shining beacon of pure Jesus love. He can believe what he wants to believe. He just cannot impose his beliefs on others. With his donation to Proposition 8 that is exactly what he strived to do. If someone strives to impose his personal beliefs on society at large, how can we know that he won't strive to impose it on the company he leads?

This is not about being unable to separate politics from business (which is inherently impossible anyway), but being unable to separate his personal beliefs from other people's.
Corky42 5th April 2014, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
But now you are forcing him to resign on the basis that because he supported something completely external to company policy he must not be able to separate politics from his business.
No one forced him to do anything, he or the company he works for decided it would be in the best interest of the company if he stood down, i didn't care either way.

In the end a decision was made that if he carried on his tenure it would adversely effect the company, probably because the public would have difficulty believing it's possible to compartmentalize personal opinions in everyday life.
law99 5th April 2014, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
This is not about his beliefs or not being a shining beacon of pure Jesus love. He can believe what he wants to believe. He just cannot impose his beliefs on others. With his donation to Proposition 8 that is exactly what he strived to do. If someone strives to impose his personal beliefs on society at large, how can we know that he won't strive to impose it on the company he leads?

This is not about being unable to separate politics from business (which is inherently impossible anyway), but being unable to separate his personal beliefs from other people's.

But as CTO was he doing this already?

Personally I see the issue as whether he was doing this as: I Creator of JavaScript, Master of Mozilla hereby support prop 8, or as, I Brendan Eich hereby support prop 8.

There seem to be people he has worked with that believe he very much can, has, shall and will remain able to separate his personal beliefs from his work life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
No one forced him to do anything, he or the company he works for decided it would be in the best interest of the company if he stood down, i didn't care either way.

Ah sorry, knee jerk quote.

I understand that. Yet, it was the board who put him there. And now, two people who started this said they never expected it to go this far with completely separate companies suddenly deciding that you should use Firefox to look at their site because someone in charge there did something they don't agree with?
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 12:20 Quote
Sure. He just can't separate his personal beliefs from how other people live.

I repeat: he actively supported a proposition to make it illegal for people to live in a manner he, personally believes they shouldn't be able to. That doesn't sound like a man who can keep his personal beliefs personal.
Gareth Halfacree 5th April 2014, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
But now you are forcing him to resign on the basis that because he supported something completely external to company policy he must not be able to separate politics from his business.
Nobody forced Eich to resign. A number of people exercised their own right to free speech by speaking out against his leadership, and threatening to withdraw support for the company and its products so long as he was leader. Mozilla had a choice: stand by Eich and lose those customers/employees/supporters who find the idea of Eich's control of the company unacceptable, or cut Eich loose (sorry, "accept his resignation") and win them back.

Take a look at the Chick-fil-a controversy, which is several times larger in magnitude than this, involving its COO and donations to anti-LGBT causes by the company's in-house charity. The backlash didn't just involve boycotts and unhappy employees; there was a frickin' gunman involved in that case. (Shot a security guard, was subdued, claimed he planned to kill as many people as possible and smear their corpses in Chick-fil-a sandwiches. 'Cos, y'know, that's an appropriate response to a company you don't like.)

The COO of Chick-fil-a responsible for the policies, and for public statements denouncing LGBT rights? Yeah, he's still COO. The company stood by him. (It helps, of course, that Dear Old Daddy founded the company.) Interestingly, sales increased 12 per cent following the publicity; proving, if there was ever any doubt, that there's no such thing as bad press.

Mozilla could have done the same. Arguably, it tried to: statements claiming that nothing would change with regard to its inclusion policies sought to calm the storm, and like Chick-fil-a it could have taken the hit in the hopes that the column inches will win it more support than it has lost - particularly among those who also supported Proposition 8.

But Mozilla is a vastly different beast to Chick-fil-a. The Mozilla Corporation, of which Eich was briefly CEO, is the business arm of the not-for-profit Mozilla Foundation which presides over numerous open-source projects. The key there is 'open': the Foundation, and by extension the Corporation, prides itself on non-judgemental inclusion for all. Sure, it's perfectly possible - probable, even - that Eich would not have let his personal beliefs, as represented by his cash donation to Proposition 8 lobbying, affect that; but the leader of a company should be someone who believes in the company's aims, goals and processes - or, alternatively, one who seeks to change those that he disagrees with.

Its community spoke, and Mozilla listened. In the end, it valued those members of the community who felt Eich's appointment was inappropriate more than it valued Eich. Alternatively, if you'd like a happier interpretation of events: Mozilla may have been perfectly willing to stand by Eich, but he chose to step down in order to protect the project he founded and helped build up - valuing the community above himself, regardless of whether or not he believes in the personal choices made by sections of that community.

TL;DR: Don't be surprised if, when you make your personal beliefs public, it has repercussions. As an atheist, I'm probably a bad choice to lead the Vatican Church when they're looking for their next Pope...
law99 5th April 2014, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Sure. He just can't separate his personal beliefs from how other people live.

I repeat: he actively supported a proposition to make it illegal for people to live in a manner he, personally believes they shouldn't be able to. That doesn't sound like a man who can keep his personal beliefs personal.

Presumably he accepted that he lost? But he didn't apologise. That is what this has become about.

Annoyingly now, I can't find the statements that I read on my phone from colleagues of his that said his personal beliefs were never on the table at work.

Here is a quote from Mitchell Baker, presumably one of the people that put him where he was

“I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,"

EDIT: You know, the funniest thing about this is, Brendan Eich didn't even want the title, he wanted Jay Sullivan to stay.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 12:57 Quote
He does nor need to apologise. He is entitled to believe what he wants. He just can't impose his beliefs on others. Through supporting a political campaign to make his personal belief law, he strived to impose it on others.

This is a bit more extreme example of the principle, but I was once asked an interesting question when in training. Suppose there is this clinical psychologist. He is highly competent, skilled, treats his clients compassionately and respectfully and he has good clinical outcomes. Clients feel that he is caring, competent and effective.

Oh, and he abuses his wife. He terrorises her, controls her and only last month he put her in hospital. She won't press charges. None of that is evident in his workplace, where he is known as a competent and affable person. Would you still hire him?

If a police officer is excellent and professional at his job, but has been known to bend a few laws in his personal life, would you still employ him?

Think it over.
theshadow2001 5th April 2014, 15:50 Quote
I'd hire the psychologist. I wouldn't know about his abusing because it's not known in the work place. So to me the employer he'd appear to be perfect for the job.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 15:54 Quote
If you knew (let's say in his personal circles and amongst the police it is a well-known fact), would you still hire him?
Yadda 5th April 2014, 15:57 Quote
I don't see how those examples are relevant. Eich did not break the law. Beating your wife (or anyone) is illegal and comparing Eichs actions to wife beating is frankly ridiculous. The second example is too vague - "known to bend a few laws" - how was it "known" and by whom? Which laws?
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 16:07 Quote
I forgot I was talking to geeks. Forget the details: focus on the principle.

OK, something that is easier to get your head aroung: you're higing a psychologist for sexual health services. In his spare time he supports an organisation that campaigns against homosexuality (say, like the Save Our Children campaign in Miami).

He does not appear to express his personal beliefs at work, but he is known to publicly campaign for this cause and in doing so has appeared on TV and radio. It is kind of public knowledge where he stands. Would you still feel comfortable hiring him?
Yadda 5th April 2014, 16:25 Quote
I may not like their beliefs but I would not let it affect my professional opinion of them. Otherwise, where would you draw the line - what about theists "not feeling comfortable" hiring atheists, and vice-versa? Would that be ok?

Someone's personal opinions, providing they don't directly affect their work, are none of my business.
theshadow2001 5th April 2014, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I forgot I was talking to geeks.
http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=2258&pictureid=35524


Nexxo 5th April 2014, 16:38 Quote
OK: you hire him. At some point he sees a client for sexual health issues who happens to be gay. The client recognises him from the anti-gay campaigns that the psychologist publicly supports. He is not happy; he does not trust that the psychologist will treat his issues with respect and non-jugdgementality. Moreover he now starts to have doubts about the whole service for hiring a professional who has such publicly stated prejudicial beliefs. What do you do next?

About theists not hiring atheists. The Christian chaplaincy is hiring faith counselors. I apply, stating that I'm an atheist, but also a qualified therapist and raised in the Christian tradition, and I have successfully treated people of faith in my previous cancer psychology post, so my personal beliefs shouldn't matter, right? Would they have grounds to refuse to hire me?
theshadow2001 5th April 2014, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Would they have grounds to refuse to hire me?
Legally, no.

Would they refuse to hire you? Most likely.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 16:42 Quote
1) You find him another psychologist.

2) I have no idea, I was talking personally, not from the POV of a Christian organisation.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 16:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
Legally, no.

Would they refuse to hire you? Most likely.

I agree. They'd probably find someone "more suitable". Just like an atheist organisation would if a person of faith applied for a position.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 16:58 Quote
1) But the client doesn't trust your service anymore, because you hired that homophobe (as he sees it) in the first place. What does that say about the values that your service professes? Moreover he now tells all his gay friends that the local sexual health service happily has a homophobe working for it. See the problem?

Certain professions are not just jobs. You represent a service, an organization, an institution, its professional values and standards. Police officers are expected to respect the law also in their personal life. Doctors and nurses are expected to assist the sick and injured who they happen to come across in the street, even when they are off-duty. Therapists whose very professional stance is supposed to be one of non-judgment and unconditional positive regard cannot publicly advocate prejudices. Vicars and priests cannot publicly profess to be atheists, even if their training and respect for other people's faith would still allow them to do their job; they are expected to believe. Child social workers cannot continue working if their own kids have been taken into care. Alcohol counselors cannot do their job if they are (still) struggling with alcoholism themselves. Dieticians cannot be morbidly obese (well, they can, but would you follow their advice?).

As a CEO of a company you are the company. You represent it and its values. You are its public face.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadda
I agree. They'd probably find someone "more suitable". Just like an atheist organisation would if a person of faith applied for a position.

If that organisation espouses atheist values, then probably yes.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
1) But the client doesn't trust your service anymore, because you hired that homophobe (as he sees it) in the first place. What does that say about the values that your service professes? Moreover he now tells all his gay friends that the local sexual health service happily has a homophobe working for it. See the problem?

Ok, in that case, their active campaigning has directly affected their work. Remember, I said I wouldn't have a problem providing their work was unaffected.

Eich standing down was purely a commercial decision though, it's not nearly the same thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Certain professions are not just jobs. You represent a service, an organization, an institution, its professional values and standards. Police officers are expected to respect the law also in their personal life. Doctors and nurses are expected to assist the sick and injured who they happen to come across in the street, even when they are off-duty. Therapists whose very professional stance is supposed to be one of non-judgment and unconditional positive regard cannot publicly advocate prejudices. Vicars and priests cannot publicly profess to be atheists, even if their training and respect for other people's faith would still allow them to do their job; they are expected to believe. Child social workers cannot continue working if their own kids have been taken into care. Alcohol counselors cannot do their job if they are (still) struggling with alcoholism themselves. Dieticians cannot be morbidly obese (well, they can, but would you follow their advice?).

As a CEO of a company you are the company. You represent it and its values. You are its public face.

Are you seriously suggesting that a CEO of an IT company cannot have anti gay marriage views for the same reason as an alcohol counsellor cannot have a drink problem, or a Vicar must be religious, or a Doctor will treat someone they find injured in a street?
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadda
Ok, in that case, their active campaigning has directly affect their work. Remember, I said I wouldn't have a problem providing their work was unaffected.

Eich standing down was purely a commercial decision though, it's not nearly the same thing.
Kinda is. His campaigning affected how customers (and employees) started to perceive Mozilla as a company, because the values he campaigned for conflict with the values that Mozilla professes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadda
Are you seriously suggesting that a CEO of an IT company cannot have anti gay marriage views for the same reason as an alcohol councillor cannot have a drink problem, or a Vicar must be religious, or a Doctor will treat someone they find injured in a street?

Not just any IT company: an IT company that professes values of equality and inclusion. It's about congruence: does this guy practice what he (or his job) preaches? If he does a job or works for a service with a certain set of ethical and professional values and standards, does he genuinely respect and believe in those? If his personal behaviour is not congruent with his professional behaviour, then there is a loss of credibility and distrust ensues. In simplest terms: you don't expect the CEO of Ford to drive around in a Honda.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 17:44 Quote
Ok, putting that to one side for a moment, do you think it's ever appropriate to hire someone with Eich's views, in any occupation?
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 18:02 Quote
Sure. If he was, say, an accountant or airline pilot, it wouldn't matter. If he was CEO for a company that has no particular humanitarian values (e.g. an oil company) or that embraces "traditional family" values, it probably wouldn't. Anything that would not create a sense of incongruence.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 18:06 Quote
What if the accountancy firm/airline/car manufacturer's sales pitch was "We care for everybody more than anyone else. We're fab, honest, now buy our stuff!"
Corky42 5th April 2014, 18:28 Quote
Saying a company cares more than any other is like Google's do no evil campaign, care and evil are ambiguous terms and can be defined in many ways.
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 18:30 Quote
Indeed. A commercial strapline ("To us, you're the most important customer in the world") and company values ("We treat everybody as equal") are two entirely different things. One is fluff, the other is an ethical stance.
Yadda 5th April 2014, 19:02 Quote
Well, at least we've arrived at some common ground.

Your earlier wife-beater analogy gave the impression that you wanted anyone with views you weren't comfortable with consigned to the Gulag. :)
theshadow2001 5th April 2014, 19:10 Quote
It's not about the values of the company. It's not even about his views or actions. Companies aren't people. Companies don't have morals or ethics. This is about business.

If his views or actions are bad for businesses then he's gone. The views or actions in themselves are irrelevant (From the perspective of the business)
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadda
Well, at least we've arrived at some common ground.

Your earlier wife-beater analogy gave the impression that you wanted anyone with views you weren't comfortable with consigned to the Gulag. :)

It was an extreme example, but designed to make us (at the time) think about whether a person's personal life behaviour should be congruent with their professional life behaviour.

A fundamental concept in psychotherapy is transference (the ideas and feelings that a client subconsciously projects onto you) and counter-transference (the ideas and feelings that you subconsciously project onto the client --partly in response to their transference, but also partly because you have a psychological worldview, beliefs, learning experiences, baggage etc. of your own). If you have ideas, beliefs and values that are incongruent with those of your job, they will leak out and make a mess of things. I think that is pretty much the same for any job.

Now in some jobs it doesn't matter so much, because these beliefs and values may simply never collide. In others they are very likely to collide, and that is bad for business (companies don't have morals or ethics, but professions, services and their actions certainly do).
Yadda 5th April 2014, 20:07 Quote
Incongruent transference? *sharp intake of breath* Nasty stuff, that. :D
Nexxo 5th April 2014, 20:20 Quote
No, no! Transference of incongruence. Totally different thing, like. :p
theshadow2001 6th April 2014, 05:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
It was an extreme example, but designed to make us (at the time) think about whether a person's personal life behaviour should be congruent with their professional life behaviour.

Interesting because my view on the point of the question was:

Since you can do nothing for the wife. Do you put your own feelings of disgust on hold so the man can help people by doing his job. Or do you satisfy your own morality and appease your discomfort by not giving him the job but in turn preventing those who need help from accessing it.

A question of who's feelings you put first. Yours or the potential patients of this man.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 10:17 Quote
It's a question of congruence again: can someone be abusive to their partner in their personal life and behave like a pleasant and caring professional in their work life? Only if they are a sociopath. That actually makes them quite dangerous and unsafe. There have been a few in the NHS; they usually end up in the news sooner or later. Dr. Harold Shipman to name an obvious one.

Moreover (as I tell trainees) the first rule of therapy is: It is never about you. The second rule of therapy is: It is always about you. You will inevitably bring your own personality, ideas, beliefs, concepts, feelings, psychological baggage etc. into the therapeutic relationship. Clients will always sense it, whether consciously or subconsciously. Someone who has such fundamental disdain and disregard for one person that they will abuse them, will be unable to genuinely respect and care about someone else.
law99 6th April 2014, 11:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
He does nor need to apologise. He is entitled to believe what he wants. He just can't impose his beliefs on others. Through supporting a political campaign to make his personal belief law, he strived to impose it on others.

This is a bit more extreme example of the principle, but I was once asked an interesting question when in training. Suppose there is this clinical psychologist. He is highly competent, skilled, treats his clients compassionately and respectfully and he has good clinical outcomes. Clients feel that he is caring, competent and effective.

Oh, and he abuses his wife. He terrorises her, controls her and only last month he put her in hospital. She won't press charges. None of that is evident in his workplace, where he is known as a competent and affable person. Would you still hire him?

If a police officer is excellent and professional at his job, but has been known to bend a few laws in his personal life, would you still employ him?

Think it over.

Yes. I would still hire them. It's an interesting question, yes. I had a similar question in a job interview. The answer I gave was I would still hire them, because I didn't know. I cannot be held accountable for their actions nor the judgement I made of the man or woman with the evidence I had in front of me. If it ever comes out about what they are doing then the paradigm changes.

The police man question is different again. That isn't a specific enough reason to discount and dismiss anyone from a position.

But as pointed out, beating your wife is not the same as supporting a group that wanted to ban gay marriage. You can make what ever leap you would like to marry them into an argument, but they will remain separate issues.

Now, on to the point. I understand that you represent the company and their ideals when you become CEO. However, "openness and inclusiveness" in this instance was used to deny someone else, because a group didn't like an opinion they harboured and once acted upon but refused to apologise for and jettison after public pressure.

If this as an issue at the level he was appointed, it should have been an issue before of significant enough magnitude to have prevented the appointment. You can say the community has spoken, but the community as ever don't have all the facts. None of us know this man and we all see ourselves fit enough to judge and publicly lambast, for views that he in no way seems to be echoing now. This is under the pretence that we know he'll adversely motivate the will of Mozilla - despite Mozilla being the sum of all its parts and not one man; through Openness and Inclusiveness.

By making a donation to a political movement that would have quashed the rights of same sex couples to marry, you are not abusing them. Is Brendan Eich now crusading for those rights to be quashed? No he isn't. If he was, I would go as far as to say he is an oppressive figure in the struggle for equality within the scope of sexual orientation and therefore potentially abusive.

On record, as far as we can see and tell from the opinions of those that worked with Brendan Eich, how many people at Mozilla has Brendan Eich discriminated against because of their sexual orientation? My guess, and only my guess I know, is none. A more conspiratorial guess would be any gay person because he doesn't believe in gay marriage, ergo he must not like gay people. A more balance view point would be that the two people that started this whole thing actually expected him to apologise and the issue to disappear, by no stretch of the imagination meaning that there was most likely a quiet confidence in the man emanating from two gay men.

Now where are all the other people that supported Prop 8 in positions of perceived public power? Should they all, one by one, be ousted from their jobs? And what litmus paper will be used to decide? At what point are they seen as a threat to all same sex people on every issue? Is there a monetary value? Or is it a time vs money vs perceived level of vitriol?

This was a grey area, way murkier than the black and white arguments of this forum. Hence why he was appointed in the first place.

EDIT: I would like you to understand that to an extent I am playing devils advocate here. I don't think it is appropriate for a public and active, politically mobile homophobic man/woman to be in charge of a organisation such as Mozilla. I just don't think he is the out and out homophobe the public wanted to lynch.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 11:30 Quote
I'm not equating beating one's wife with opposing gay marriage (although both acts are disrespectful to other humans); I'm asking whether someone should be in a job the values, ethics and philosophy of which are in contradiction with his personal beliefs and behaviour.

I'm sure that Eich behaved as a pleasant colleague at work. But I wonder how a gay colleague would feel about working with --or under-- him, knowing that he actively supported a campaign that would deny him/her to marry their partner. Sure, colleagues should be able to get past their personal differences and stay professional, but this is not just about "live and let live" anymore; by donating to Proposition 8 Eich crossed that line and people now know that of him: that he will cross the "live and let live" boundary on that issue. They don't trust him anymore.

I was reading an interesting article about misogyny in the tech industry. The article illustrates that male coders do not have to behave in pejorative ways towards the female colleague directly for her to start feeling decidedly disrespected and outcast. A culture of misogyny can encourage attitudes and behaviours that are unprofessional but remain unchallenged. Companies have to watch their culture. It can make or break them (as Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust has found). I guess that is what Mozilla is trying to do.
t5kcannon 6th April 2014, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Erm...

That holds as much water as a statements such as:

"There are people who aren't racist, that don't believe in allowing blacks to paid the same as white folk"
"There are people who aren't misogynistic, that don't believe in allowing girls to get an education"
"There are people who aren't peodophiles, that don't believe there should be a legal age of consent"

"Erm..."

That's an extraordinarily bad argument, which I'm surprised someone wrote down.

You are NOT comparing like for like. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. Like it, or not, that's marriage. Pay, for example, is not even similar in kind or type relative to marriage, unless you pre-suppose some inherent difference between a black and a white to get your argument to work. That is, it seems to me that you have to inject some racist pre-supposition to get your argument to work.

The whole notion of extending the established institution of marriage to gays is nonsense of the highest order. You really should read this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10730495/Brian-Sewell-Why-Im-no-convert-to-gay-marriage.html
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 12:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by t5kcannon
Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.

Is it? In any case, we can take that debate over here.

You are missing Guinevere's point. She is not trying to equate racism, misogyny and paedophilia to homophobia. She is stating that it is not possible to subscribe to a core tenet of a prejudice while at the same time claiming not to be prejudiced.
theshadow2001 6th April 2014, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
It's a question of congruence again: can someone be abusive to their partner in their personal life and behave like a pleasant and caring professional in their work life? Only if they are a sociopath. That actually makes them quite dangerous and unsafe. There have been a few in the NHS; they usually end up in the news sooner or later. Dr. Harold Shipman to name an obvious one.

Moreover (as I tell trainees) the first rule of therapy is: It is never about you. The second rule of therapy is: It is always about you. You will inevitably bring your own personality, ideas, beliefs, concepts, feelings, psychological baggage etc. into the therapeutic relationship. Clients will always sense it, whether consciously or subconsciously. Someone who has such fundamental disdain and disregard for one person that they will abuse them, will be unable to genuinely respect and care about someone else.

So really it's a very straight forward question. Should you hire a sociopath?No. It's not a good idea. Sociopaths make bad counsellors.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 14:51 Quote
Yup. And while there's no way I wish to argue that Eich is a sociopath (we all are somewhere on that continuum, some of the time), he did cross a "live and let live" boundary and therefore is experienced as incongruent. And that makes people suspicious.
Yadda 6th April 2014, 15:29 Quote
Harold Shipman!?? Oh my life. LOL. I think you should compare him to Hitler and get Godwin out of the way. Go on Nexxo, you know you want to. :)
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 15:39 Quote
You haven't been following the conversation, have you? It's OK if you don't get it, but ridicule is a poor way of hiding it.
Yadda 6th April 2014, 15:44 Quote
OK, whatever you say Nexxo.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 16:46 Quote
Yeah... And so is that, really. :p
Yadda 6th April 2014, 17:32 Quote
"Now there's no way I'm comparing Eich to Hitler BUT ...<compares Eich to Hitler>."

Go on Nexxo. PLEASE. :D
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 17:45 Quote
Well... Eich probably likes dogs. I mean, he looks like the kind of guy who likes dogs. Hitler liked dogs, so there. :p
RedFlames 6th April 2014, 17:47 Quote
Eich -> Reich -> Hitler...

there.

done.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 17:49 Quote
^^^ QED, really. :D
bawjaws 6th April 2014, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Eich -> Reich -> Hitler...

there.

done.

More like Turd Eich -> Third Reich -> Hitler, amirite?
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 19:59 Quote
OMG! That can't be a coincidence, right? Right? :p



But seriously. A poster stated somewhere earlier that he was nor very familiar with Proposition 8, as indeed most people this side of the pond quite reasonably won't be. Here's a little pointer.

Eich's donation was not merely an expression of his political beliefs. It was a contribution to, frankly, a homophobic hate campaign. He might as well have picked up a sign and joined the Phelps family, which I think in many ways would have been a less harmful and more honest way of expressing his personal views.
greg s 6th April 2014, 20:30 Quote
I've never seen so many knees jerking at once. I guess Mozilla isn't as inclusive as they claim, if you have personal beliefs that aren't held by the majority. Proposition 8 was a referendum item voted on by the registered voters of California. That is, it was a basic expression of democracy in action whether you agree with it or not (which I don't). It was not 'imposing his beliefs on others'. The 'others' get to express their beliefs through the ballot box as well.
Eich left because this nonsense was damaging a company which he obviously values highly and to which he has dedicated a good chunk of his professional life. Can you you say witch hunt? Good, I knew that you could.
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 20:42 Quote
Proposition 8 basically proposed to make same-sex marriage illegal (again). Had it been successful, people in same-sex relationships would nor have been able to marry. So yes, this was a case of people striving to make their personal beliefs law, thus imposing them on society at large. Whether other people can vote against this in a democratic process is moot. This is not people voting for an issue that affects them; it is not a vote on how they wish to live. It is a vote on how they wish others to live, whether those others want to or not. See the difference?

People keep going on about how Eich is entitled to his beliefs. He is entitled to have them and express them as much as he wants. HE IS JUST NOT ENTITLED TO IMPOSE THEM ON OTHERS. And like it or not, that is what Proposition 8 aimed to do.
Yadda 6th April 2014, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Eich -> Reich -> Hitler...

there.

done.

:)

Well I'm not saying he was like Jimmy Savile BUT.... <incongruence this> ... <incongruence that>. :)
Nexxo 6th April 2014, 22:50 Quote
...or was he?...
Anfield 7th April 2014, 01:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg s
Proposition 8 was a referendum item voted on by the registered voters of California. That is, it was a basic expression of democracy in action whether you agree with it or not (which I don't). It was not 'imposing his beliefs on others'. The 'others' get to express their beliefs through the ballot box as well.

Considering the some what recent ruling of the Supreme Court details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Windsor it is questionable if the individual states should even be allowed to hold votes like that at all.
DbD 7th April 2014, 11:03 Quote
I wonder what people would be saying here if the roles were reversed and the CEO was fired for speaking privately in favour of gay marriage? It is a mark of a free open society that people can have differing view points and not persecute each other. The debate about whether marriage is man/woman or can be man/man is a debate people are allowed to have. It is not killing gay people - marriage is as much a tax break as anything. You can give a life long commitment to another person without having the government write a piece of paper to say its so, which makes no difference to stopping them splitting up looking at divorce rates.
Anyway by forcing him out of his job people are showing the kind of intolerance they are trying to castigate him for. Even many gay rights advocates can see that they are turning into the people they've just been fighting to overcome by going down this path. As for modzilla seems equality and openness only applies if you think the right things - which is not equality or openness at all. So "he is not entitled to impose his views on others", but you are entitled to impose your views on him? Even if bound up in how much you hate that view can you not see how you have become just as bad, worse in fact as the right to work is much more important then some government tax break.
Corky42 7th April 2014, 11:19 Quote
Why do people have the idea that Eich kept his view on gay marriage private ? He didn't.
The moment anyone gives their support to something the belief is no longer a privately held one.

And why do people think Eich was forced out of the job ? He was not.
Eich or the company he worked for made a choice that it would be in the best interest of the company.
impar 7th April 2014, 11:25 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Eich -> Reich -> Hitler...
there.
done.
Eich -> Reich -> III Reich -> Hitler...

Eich compares to Hitler AND HL3 confirmed.
will_123 7th April 2014, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Why do people have the idea that Eich kept his view on gay marriage private ? He didn't.
The moment anyone gives their support to something the belief is no longer a privately held one.

And why do people think Eich was forced out of the job ? He was not.
Eich or the company he worked for made a choice that it would be in the best interest of the company.

well maybe he did....or jumped before being pushed.
Nexxo 8th April 2014, 10:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
I wonder what people would be saying here if the roles were reversed and the CEO was fired for speaking privately in favour of gay marriage? It is a mark of a free open society that people can have differing view points and not persecute each other.

Oh, FFS.

This is not about him expressing his views. It is about him, by supporting Proposition 8, striving to impose his views on others.

Are we clear on this imposition thing now?

EDIT:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/free_speech.png
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums