Does religion belong in the workplace? Or should it be checked at the door?
That seems to be the question running through multiple minds in recent weeks.
Firefox recently felt the burn of the media’s scorn after it came to light that the Internet browser’s former chief executive donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in 2008 that sought to recognize only marriage between a man and a woman in California.
In an exclusive Q&A with CNET, Mozilla’s former CEO Brendan Eich, who resigned from his post on Thursday, said political beliefs shouldn’t affect the way he’s viewed as a CEO. And he said his company has always featured inclusiveness, and it’s not something that should be criticized.
“Mozilla has always worked according to principles of inclusiveness," Eich said to CNET. "It may be challenging for a CEO, but everyone in our community can have different beliefs about all sorts of things that may be in conflict. We are a broad, big, mission-based organization. It's not to say some of those other beliefs aren't as contributing to the open Web, but we will not succeed globally without being maximally inclusive by leaving exclusionary beliefs at the door. ”
Eich told The New York Times that he wanted to separate the beliefs of the company from the business model. Workers are told “to leave their personal views at the door of the company,” NY Times reported.
“I do separate our beliefs from our mission,” Eich told The New York Times. “I have always lived by the principle of inclusiveness; if you can’t leave your other stuff at the door you’re going to break into other groups. We have to be one group.”
One of the businesses to strike back at Firefox was OkCupid, an online dating website. The company presented people trying to access the OkCupid website via Mozilla Firefox with a message asking them to boycott the browser. The ban was more than just a marketing ploy by the online dating site, according to The Boston Globe.
“And the action certainly underscores the level of influence tech companies can exert on users, especially when it comes to matters of policy and civic engagement,” Marcela Garcia wrote for The Boston Globe. “And OkCupid is taking its message one step further, allowing users to switch browsers by providing links to Safari, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer — and delivering an economic blow to Mozilla (even if a small one).”
OkCupid lifted the boycott, though, despite reaping an increase in subscriptions after telling users not to use the browser, Forbes reported.
Mozilla is the latest company to be swept up in the national spotlight when it comes to religious beliefs and the workplace. Hobby Lobby has been at the center of this debate, with its case about contraception being brought to the Supreme Court, Mark Kellner wrote for Deseret News National.
Moving forward, Eich said he is going to try to keep this debate out of the spotlight, as it doesn’t relate to his business model, according to The Guardian.
“So I don't want to talk about my personal beliefs because I kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we've been going,” Eich said to the Guardian. “I don't believe they're relevant.”