Well that didn't take long! In less than two weeks Brendan Eich went from CEO of Mozilla to the unemployment line. It was just a matter of days after Eich stepped into his fancy new position before OKCupid announced to their members that they were blocking Mozilla because of the homophobic values of the new CEO.
The online dating service that has matched many a gay couple posted a letter for all of their Mozilla-using members stating, among other facts that they have "devoted the last ten years to bringing people — all people — together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8 percent of the relationships we've worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OKCupid." Then the Internet cheered and Eich was exposed for being the true person he really is: one who donated $1000 to support California's Prop. 8, the bill that intended to ban gay marriage.
That was March 31st. By late day on April 3rd, reports had surfaced that Eich had "chosen to step down" After initially saying, at the height of the controversy: "Beliefs that are protected, that include political and religious speech, are generally not something that can held be against even against a CEO," Eich was mum by Thursday afternoon.
You can argue protection of beliefs all you want, but if they offend the majority of the thinking world, then you need to prepare for the inevitable backlash. Here are a few other CEOs, owners and presidents of high profile companies who have said some pretty ridiculous anti-gay comments.
1. Richard Hayne, President and CEO of Urban Outfitters:
"I'm not going to comment on it. I have my own opinion, but I am not going to share it. Our job as a business is not to promote a political agenda. That's not what we do."
A very interesting statement from a man whose stores were selling "I Support Gay Marriage" T-shirts, a shirt that was pulled from the shelves in 2008 when it came out that Hayne had donated money to homophobic campaign of homophobic senator Rick Santorum.
2. Terry Caster, Owner of A-1 Storage:
"Without solid marriage, you are going to have a sick society."
And, of course, in Caster's mind a "solid" marriage is a straight one.
3. Tom Monaghan, Domino's Pizza founder:
"I'm not going to break the law. We want to be a family town. But if there's an openly gay couple living next door to some family, and those kids would have to be subjected to that, I don't know. In the first place, I don't know how many gay couples are going to want to come live in the town. And if we can't prevent it, well, we'll tolerate it."
As we all know, thanks to Michele Bachmann, the gays always go straight to the kids to convert them into more little gays, so his concern is valid. Groan.
4. Guido Barilla, Owner and Chairman of Barilla:
"I would never do an advert with a homosexual family … if the gays don't like it they can go and eat another brand. For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company."
Barilla later apologized, because of course, then apologized again on video so we could, what, have it for posterity? However, that didn't stop many, MANY people from going and eating another brand, just as he suggested.
5. Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A:
"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
Boycotts and bans followed, with even the then-mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino and members of Chicago's City Counsel hoping to block any expansion of the chain in their cities. How do you like them apples, Dan?