Mozilla faces mass board resignations

Big cheeses in the Mozzarella Foundation appear to be exiting the building at an alarming rate following the appointment of former Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich to the chief executive job.

Eich is facing a staff and developer revolt from those who feel that his stance on gay marriage is homophobic and now three members of Mozilla’s board resigned over a his appointment.

Eich took the new job last week and already John Lilly, a former Mozilla CEO who is now working at venture capital firm Greylock Partners; and Ellen Siminoff, CEO of online education company Schmoop have cleared off. Mozilla’s most recent CEO, Gary Kovacs has cleaned out his desk.

Mozilla insisted that the three board members ended their terms last week for a variety of reasons.

Two had been planning to leave for some time, one since January and one explicitly at the end of the CEO search, the outfit said in a statement.

Word on the strasse is that the board members left because they wanted an outside executive with mobile experience.

Mozilla’s mobile version of Firefox has vanishingly small usage, and its mobile operating system, Firefox OS, is a new arrival in a market dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Mozilla employees took to Twitter to protest. “Have waited too long to say this. I’m an employee of @mozilla and I’m asking @brendaneich to step down as CEO,” tweeted designer Jess Klein.

Eich replied in his bog that he was committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.

“I know some will be skeptical 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.”