Belial wrote:In fact, I'm skeptical of the idea that, in the infinitesimal period of time between OKCupid's awareness raising stunt and Eich's resignation, any kind of boycott even got properly started.
I think this needs to be emphasized. I'm all in favor of boycotts; it's how consumers who don't have a boardroom vote have their voices heard nonetheless, and it works in exactly the way business is supposed to work. Don't like a product? Don't buy it. Don't like a salesman? Don't buy his product. Don't like a corporate CEO because he contributed to a campaign that would have restricted human rights? Don't contribute to his corporation. Corporations exist to make money, and if enough people decide that they'd rather do without the product than give your corporation money for Reason X, that corporation either has to listen or face the end of their business. Chick-Fil-A was boycotted; apparently the boycott did not have sufficient momentum in the places where CFA operates, because not only is CFA not dead, they're thriving. Half the locations and still
more revenue than KFC. If society has changed enough that a sufficient portion of Mozilla's market would rather do without their products than support a CEO who doesn't support their views on human rights, Mozilla's bottom line suffers, and they make a change.
My question is: why are the people decrying Eich's ouster not more outraged at the fact that Mozilla didn't even go a fortnight before deciding that he was doing more harm to them than good? They could not have possibly felt the actual sting of boycotts; do real, large-scale boycotts come together and do enough actual damage to a corporation in the span of a week and a half that the CEO must be tossed? Mozilla either knew about this contribution (news of it actually came out in 2012, long before Eich was selected as CEO) and didn't think it was such a big deal, or they were willfully ignorant. Either way, they were asleep at the wheel when they made this choice, and they reacted by pushing him out the door before they had any real idea what the effect of his presence would mean. So, either Mozilla was oblivious, or they didn't think it would be such a big deal and then made a knee-jerk reaction to the threat
Personally, I think this is an instance of corporate pressure done right. You cannot compare the position of CEO of a corporation to any other employee in the business. Or, if you can, you're doing so disingenuously. The CEO is absolutely
the public face of the company and has to exhibit the qualities the shareholders or stakeholders want him or her to exemplify, in a way that no other person in the company has to be. I would absolutely be of the same position if the reverse had happened; if Hobby Lobby found out their new CEO had once donated to Planned Parenthood, and their shareholders or owners or stakeholders or whatnot decided that this was so completely against their company holiness that they couldn't abide it, and if their good, wholesome Christian customers started large-scale boycotts that caused their business to tank, I'd expect them to pull the plug on that CEO. I wouldn't support their company (and I don't now, as it is and as is my choice), but that's the decision they have to make.
Mozilla didn't wait to figure out how bad this was going to get. They pulled the plug on Eich before they could find out. If you want to blame anybody, blame them.