If you remember the case of Justine Sacco, the PR executive of Internet giant InterActive Corp and her immediate firing after she made the terrible mistake to Tweet a racist status while on her way to Africa, then it occurred to you (and the world entirely) that a company’s CEO, PR head or another powerful executive becomes one with the company, a human synonym for an entrepreneurial policy.
And if the human in question makes mistakes or shares personal views that contradict other general accepted views, then the entire company takes the blame and the fall.
There have been just a few months that passed since the Justine Sacco incident and just a few days since Brendan Eich was appointed Mozilla’s new CEO and the world caught on fire again, as Mr. Eich was not shy in publicly expressing his opinions towards gay marriage, and those opinions weren’t the supporting and benevolent ones some might expect in 2014. But Mr.
Eich’s position towards the banning of gay marriage and his personal and political efforts to see this happening weren’t left without an echo: dating site OkCupid issued a message to all their users to boycott Mozilla and use other browsers, because Mozilla’s CEO goes against all principles and rights OkCupid’s users stand for.
Brendan Eich is not the most loved figure inside Mozilla and recently, three out of six Mozilla board members resigned, although official statements denied any connection between Eich’s views on gay marriage and the board members abandoning ship.
Now with Mozilla under OkCupid boycott, the second largest web browser might face some serious problems if the OkCupid users actually stop using Mozilla and the conflict escalates on a global scale. Of course, apologies have been issued and statements have been made, promises have been flashed before peoples’ eyes, but the fact is, how detrimental are a CEO’s personal views on sensitive subjects over a brand’s success and future?