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Mozilla CEO controversy

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ferrari77, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I sympathize with that concern, on which I have 2 thoughts.

    One, the power dynamic here is the opposite of an employer enforcing political conformity on employees. It's more acceptable for many employees to enforce conformity from the one guy who is above them than for that one guy to enforce conformity from the many people under him.

    And second, I'm trying to figure out how this donation was disclosed in the first place. If he made it in 2008 and it wasn't disclosed until 2012, was he making that donation on an assumption of privacy? If so, was his privacy breached in the 2012 disclosure? Shouldn't that make a difference? If he put his name on the thousand dollar bill when he donated it, didn't he invite blowback? If it was never supposed to be public, is it unfair to boycott him over it?

    Bonus thought: I do feel bad for him that the company he co-founded revolts on him and throws him out on his ear. I'm sure he'll have other business opportunities, but it's like having your 12 year old file divorce papers on you. But then, what can you say -- he should have known better.
     
  2. Major

    Major Member

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    In general, this is legal - there are a few states that ban "political pressuring". But the real ban is the threat of a lawsuit and that of the marketplace. If a company only hires Republicans, for example, then they lose out on half the potential talent pool (plus any GOPers that don't like the idea of the policy), and thus are likely at a competitive disadvantage vs other companies. So there's generally going to be pressure by the owners of the company or whatnot to NOT do this. It's used in the opposite way, but it's the same as what's being talked about here with Mozilla - it's the pressure of the marketplace encouraging a company to subscribe to socially accepted norms of not firing people for their political views.
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

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    It came out, in some way, during a civil lawsuit filed against him.
     
  4. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    I was just about to bring that up - If you publicly criticize your employer, isn't that grounds for termination?
     
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    Sure - it's certainly an option available to him. It would probably be a sign of bad leadership skills, but again, his choice.
     
  6. Nook

    Nook Member

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    My concern is that it is a short hop from employees being angry and protesting a CEO CFO to a corporation following suit. That is a real concern for me because I know for a fact that family owned and single owner companies attempt to influence voting patterns and their employees opinion on social issues.
     
  7. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I am aware it is legal as long as it isn't a mandate.... I just think it is potentially a serious problem.
     
  8. Major

    Major Member

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    I think the marketplace of ideas that people (not you) seem to be deriding here is exactly what prevents that, though. Its that pressure to conform to basic decency standards or face a revolt of employees/customers/etc that restricts it.
     
  9. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    It is one thing if there is just a couple people, what if there are many people, Are you going to fire them all? Do you still want to run your company? In that case I believe the board will fire the CEO before they fire a significant percentage of the company.
     
  10. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I agree with you. What you have here though, is a disagreement as to what is "decency" as some of these posters are against same-sex marriage rights.

    If the CEO had supported a White Seperatist Movement group would there be such controversy or would the CEO be immediately removed?
     
  11. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    But why is that? Just because someone rises to the top because they have performed the job well doesn't mean they aren't entitled to their personal life anymore. He didn't donate it as Mozilla. He donated as a private citizen, and society should be able to separate a person's professional and personal life.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, do you think it would be fair to be forced from your job because of your own personal views? You did everything asked of the job, yet there is so much societal pressure calling for your head.

    As far as I can see, his views have not affected how he runs his business. There is no documented discriminatory action by Mozilla against gay persons. He hasn't let his personal views affect his professional judgment. So why can it be turned the other way around?
    That's what worries me, too. Society has become such a lynch mob that independent thought is shunned upon when it's an unpopular opinion. People should be allowed their own personal opinions and thoughts. We are still living in America, right? It's almost as if we're in some third world country like Saudi Arabia.
     
  12. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    Abortion is not a matter of personal ethics. It involves more than one person, one of whom is being denied the right to their own existence.
     
  13. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    Depends how it influences their actions in their capacity as CEO.
     
  14. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I think the more interesting hypothetical would be what if he had donated to an anti-Prop 8 fund, and Mozilla employees were revolting because he was 'anti-family'? Would we be so supportive of employees then?
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Sounds like an excuse to me. You can define any issue, anyway you want but the point remains.... virtually every political movement, and people in general, intend to slap their own opinions and view of what is right and wrong on the masses... the Republicans are every bit as guilty as the democrats.
     
  16. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Maybe that is what it should be.... but I think we both know that the outcry would be huge, there would be protests and the CEO would be removed.

    I personally have a real issue with private life not being kept private, but it seems that we are rapidly moving toward the opposite.
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    Because part of the job description of CEO is being the public face of the company - so your private life is part of your public life. The CEO is different than a random employee.

    (a) Nobody is being forced from their job - he'll only lose his job if his bosses decide he's not the right person to run the company.

    (b) He didn't do everything asked of the job, because part of the job of CEO is to be non-controversial and command the respect and support of your employees.

    (c) If he does end up losing his job, it most likely won't be due to societal pressure - it will be due to internal pressure. Generally calls for boycotts and the like tend to blow over - it's the lack of ability to lead his employees that would be his potential downfall.

    His views haven't affected how he runs the business, but they certainly have affected the business.

    This is all true - and I don't think there's any reason he has to lose his job. But he has to talk to his employees and convince them of why he can and should continue to lead them. He doesn't get the right to lead because someone gave him the job - he gets to lead because the people he leads accept him as their leader. That's the part he has to fix.

    A lynch mob? Really? People are expressing their views on twitter. People that don't like him are choosing not to use his product. That's it - that's the definition of free market economics and freedom of speech. In what world is this like Saudi Arabia?
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    On a side note, for all the talk about society pressure - this is ONLY a news story because of an internal revolt. Lots of CEOs (probably most of them) give money to political causes, many of them likely controversial. There's nothing particularly unique about that part of it. What makes this a story is entirely the response of the employees.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I completely agree. I do not doubt that many CEO's have in private supported causes that many employees would find repugnant. I think the fact that in this case, employees have taken a stand has surprised people. It also should be pointed out that I think there is to an extent a generational/cultural divide at play. Younger people view the work place and employer responsibilities different than older people.
     
  20. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    True and that is up for the board to decide. Speaking for me personally if I was an employee of Mozilla and if nothing else had come up before regarding his leadership and how he conducts himself at work I would not demand he get fired.

    I think this is a matter of while I might not agree with his political views if he keeps them out of the workplace I don't think that should cost him his job.
     

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