Archive for March, 2014

On Mozilla’s Support for Marriage Equality

March 29th, 2014

Last week I wrote that Mozilla’s commitment to inclusiveness for our LGBT community, and for all underrepresented groups, will not change. Acting for or on behalf of Mozilla, it is unacceptable to limit opportunity for *anyone* based on the nature of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This is not only a commitment, it is our identity.

This left unanswered the question of whether equality explicitly includes marital equality. I want to clear that up. Speaking as the Chairwoman, I want to speak clearly on behalf of both the Mozilla Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation: Mozilla supports equality for all, explicitly including LGBT equality and marriage equality.

Statement: Mozilla Supports Marriage Equality

Building a Global, Diverse, Inclusive Mozilla Project: Addressing Controversy

March 26th, 2014

Monday’s announcement of Brendan Eich as the new CEO of Mozilla brought a lot of reactions. Many people were excited about what this meant for Mozilla, and our emphasis on protecting the open Web. In the next few days we’ll see more from Brendan and the leadership team on the opportunities in front of us. Before that, however, both Brendan and I want to address a particular concern that has been raised about Mozilla’s commitment to inclusiveness for LGBT individuals and community, and whether Brendan’s role as CEO might diminish this commitment at Mozilla.

The short answer: Mozilla’s commitment to inclusiveness for our LGBT community, and for all underrepresented groups, will not change. Acting for or on behalf of Mozilla, it is unacceptable to limit opportunity for *anyone* based on the nature of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This is not only a commitment, it is our identity.

This commitment is a key requirement for all leadership within Mozilla, including for the CEO, and Brendan shares this commitment as the new Chief Executive Officer.

Second, I’ll point to Brendan’s comments on this topic.

Third, I’ll note that two years ago we had an open conversation and co-creation process about how we make sure our community supports all members, including all forms of gender and sexual orientation. The process, with me as the draftsperson, resulted in the Community Participation Guidelines. These Guidelines mandate that (1) each of us must be inclusive of all community members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and more, and (2) any exclusionary approach you might practice elsewhere must be left at the door, and not be brought into Mozilla’s spaces.

We expect everyone, regardless of role or title, to be committed to the breadth of inclusiveness described in the Guidelines. These Guidelines are in addition to our inclusive and non-discriminatory policies which apply particularly to employees. As a practical, concrete example we’ve also been pushing the boundaries to offer excellent health benefits across the board, to domestic partners and all married couples, same-sex and otherwise.

My experience is that Brendan is as committed to opportunity and diversity inside Mozilla as anyone, and more so than many. This commitment to opportunity for all within Mozilla has been a key foundation of our work for many years. I see it in action regularly.

The CEO role is obviously a key role, with a large amount of authority. The CEO must have a commitment to the inclusive nature of Mozilla. This includes of course a commitment to the Community Participation Guidelines, inclusive HR practices and the spirit that underlies them. Brendan has made this commitment.

Finally, I’ve been asked a few times about my own personal views, and so I’ll add a short comment.

I am an avid supporter of equal rights for all. I support equal rights for the LGBT community, I support equal rights for underrepresented groups, and I have some pretty radical views about the role of underrepresented groups in social institutions. I was surprised in 2012, when his donation in support of Proposition 8 came to light, to learn that Brendan and I aren’t in close alignment here, since I’ve never seen any indication of anything other than inclusiveness in our work together (note: I’ve edited this sentence to give clarity).

I spend most of my time focused on building an open Internet, which I think is a required infrastructure for empowerment for everyone and where I think I can add something that’s tricky to replace. If I weren’t doing this, I’d probably be spending a good chunk of my life focused more directly on equality issues.

A Return to Founders as Mozilla Moves Forward

March 24th, 2014

I’m happy to welcome Brendan Eich to a new role at Mozilla, that of our CEO. I also want to thank Jay Sullivan for his dedication to Mozilla over the years and in particular as our acting CEO this last year.

Brendan has been an absolutely foundational element of Mozilla and our success for the past 15 years. The parallels between Mozilla’s history and our future are very strong, and I am very happy with this combination of continuity and change to help us continue to fulfill our mission, as Mozilla has big ambitions: providing a rich, exciting online experience that puts people at the center of digital life.

We exceeded our wildest dreams with Firefox when we first released it 10 years ago. We moved the desktop and browsing environments to a much more open place, with far more options and control available to individuals.

When I look back at the early days that led to Firefox, I think mostly of the personalities that achieved this great success. Mozilla was a small band of people, mostly volunteers and a few employees, bound together by a shared mission and led by Brendan and me as co-founders of the Mozilla project. We were an unusual group to have such huge ambitions. Looking at us, most people thought we would never succeed. But we did. We succeeded because like-minded people joined with us to make Mozilla so much stronger, and to create amazing products that embody our values — products that people love to use.

Today we live in a different online era. This era combines desktop, mobile devices, cloud services, big data and a social layer. It is feature-rich, highly centralized, and focused on a few giant organizations that exert control over almost all aspects of the experience. Today’s computing environment is deeply in need of an open, exciting alternative that shows what the Open Web brings to this setting — something built on parts including Firefox OS, WebGL, asm.js, and the many other innovations being developed at Mozilla. It is comparable to the desktop computing environment we set out to revolutionize when we started Mozilla.

Mozilla needs to bring a similar scope of change to the new computing era. Once again, Mozilla needs to break down the walled gardens of online life and bring openness and opportunity to all. Once again, we have the chance to build products and communities in a way that no one else will. Once again, we will build something new and exciting.

Over the years I’ve worked with Brendan, we’ve each had a variety of roles, and we have always had a great partnership. I look forward to working closely together in this phase of Mozilla’s development. I hope you’ll join us.


25 Years of Human Potential

March 12th, 2014

The World Wide Web is the greatest tool for knowledge sharing and collaboration we have ever seen.  In the 25 years it has existed —  only a third of a modern lifespan– the Web has affected almost every aspect of life for much of humanity, and will do so for even more of humanity in the years to come.

The Web shows us the creativity and ingenuity and diversity of humanity.  The Web empowers all of us to try out new ideas and offer them to the world, without needing to ask the powerful for permission.    The rapid pace of innovation shows us what humanity is capable of when powerful tools are made equally available to all of us.

The next 25 years will show us whether this openness can be maintained in some significant degree or whether the Web will become “business as usual.”  Today many groups are working to tame this explosive openness and potential, some for very legitimate and understandable reasons.  Governments seek to limit or control the Web to protect their citizens, either from criminal activities or to protect cultural norms.  Some governments seek to regulate the Internet to protect and propagate their own positions.  Companies seek to tame the Web to build their business and return value to shareholders.

Mozilla believes that the full range of human potential must be represented on the Web.  We believe that the power of the Web is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. We will continue our dedication to building this portion of the Web and of online life.

Today on the Web’s 25th birthday, we are joining with the Web at 25 campaign and the Web We Want campaign to enable and amplify the voice of the Internet community. We encourage you to visit to send a birthday greeting to the Web and visit our interactive quilt to share your vision for the type of Web you want.

Click below for thoughts from Mozilla CTO and SVP of Engineering, Brendan Eich on the 25th birthday:

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