On the Mozilla CEO…

It[1] has already been demotivating and distracting from Mozilla’s mission.   How he responds to this is going to determine how really qualified he is to be CEO.  I think it could end up affecting Mozilla’s image permanently if not managed well, which is one of their biggest assets (Most trusted internet company for privacy)!

Two thought experiments I did personally ( I’m an atheist who feels marginalized by the pledge of allegiance including “Under God”) :

From CEO perspective

I donate $1000 to a political action committee pushing to remove “Under God” from the pledge.   Time passes.  I got a job opportunity to lead an amazing organization.   Members of the community start boycotting the amazing organization due to my donation.

From end user/employee/advocate perspective

I’m working at an amazing organization.   A new CEO is appointed that’s donated $1000 to make sure that we keep “Under God” in the pledge.   He promises to not change atheists position in the company and continue to treat them like any other employee.


I was originally going to suggest that the CEO just donate $1000 to the other side.. but I don’t think I would do that in his place.   From the employee perspective, I wouldn’t immediately resign or anything, but I would likely keep a wider eye towards new opportunities…  What would you do in your equivalent thought experiment?

8 thoughts on “On the Mozilla CEO…”

  1. The real problem is the 1,138 statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining benefits, rights, and privileges. It seems rather bizarre that he is in favour of all mozilla employees being treated equally within the company, but when they (and mozilla’s users) are in the real world he is not in favour of equality of marital benefits, rights and privileges.

    I don’t know how you reconcile viewing some people being less equal than others, especially in the context of mozilla. Your scenario can be explained by treating people of all faiths (and none at all) equally, and having their religion be a personal matter.

    In Brendan’s actual scenario, something that removes those benefits, rights, and privileges from marriage and instead makes them available to civil unions (of which marriage is one form) would be a reasonable solution.

  2. I would be fucking professional!
    That means whatever my personal beliefs are they just don’t matter in that area.

  3. I think your thought experiment is missing an important variable: Mozilla’s mission.

    I’ve worked with people I find disagreeable in order to improve open source projects I believe in. (And I suspect maybe some other people have worked with me only because they believed in the project.)

    The paid employees at Mozilla already could probably earn more money elsewhere. They could also probably avoid many of the hassles of working for an open source company, such as having to deal with frequent community criticism of your decisions in the project or knowing that your honest mistakes may become public knowledge (like that poor guy who broke OpenSSL in Debian).

    The fact that they work at Mozilla instead makes me suspect that they believe in Mozilla’s mission and that working at Mozilla is a convenient way from them to pay their bills while supporting Mozilla’s goals. I further suspect that, as long as the new CEO doesn’t make their jobs much harder, most of they will probably stay.

    1. Indeed, I missed that most employees and the CEO are likely very passionate about Mozilla’s mission.

      I also should have picked a more specific issue. Instead of “Under God” in the pledge a more fitting comparison would have been the CEO supporting a
      “God-requirement” to run for public office, being a witness, etc. (Luckily most haven’t been enforced although some are still on the books.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States)

      1. I find it amusing that OkCupid is supposedly displaying a message to Firefox users complaining about Mozilla’s CEO but not complaining to IE and Chrome users about all the horrible things their companies have done.

        I also think this might mean that the current CEO is the best person for the job. He’s had some minor decision he made years ago come back to bite him, so he’ll understand users like me who want more privacy so that our minor decisions today don’t come back to bite us in the future.

  4. He didn’t just donate to the Prop 8 campaign, but also to the Buchanan campaign. That is much, much worse. Because Prop 8 merely denied marriage rights, whereas Buchanan verbally degraded gays.

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