Brendan Eich, the embattled CEO of Mozilla, has decided to step down after the recent uproar over his 2008 political contributions opposing gay marriage.
The maker of the popular Firefox Web browser announced the news on its blog Thursday.
“We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” wrote executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker.
Eich, who was appointed just days ago, came under fire last week from Mozilla employees because of a $1,000 donation he made six years ago in support of Proposition 8, the California initiative to ban marriage for same-sex couples. His contribution was made public at the time but the co-founder was criticized internally after it was announced that he would take over the non-profit company.
The Wall Street Journal reported that three of the company’s six board members resigned over his promotion while the online dating site OKCupid told users to boycott the browser.
“While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web,” Baker added. “So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.”
What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed at the company.
“Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality,” Baker added. “Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”