Titan of Industry: Tech mogul CEO ousted over a $1,000 donation

This is a cautionary tale about sending a public donation as a public figure. Keep the impact of your donation, lose the attention. Send anonymous donations with Silent Donor Today.

Brendan Eich was at the top of his game. Already making an unmistakable mark on computer science as the creator of the widely-used JavaScript programming language, he then went on to become the founder of the Mozilla Project (and Mozilla Corporation). His product, Mozilla Firefox, quickly became one of the most used browsers in the industry. It offered users a faster, more efficient alternative to the clunky standard fare of browsers in Internet Explorer or Safari. Mr. Eich was then named CEO of the company, a no-brainer decision.

However, shortly after he assumed the role of CEO, Eich’s donation history was thrust into the public eye. As it turns out, he had donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8 bill, which was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment intended to ban same-sex marriage. He faced such widespread vocal opposition as a result of this donation that he was forced to step down after less than two weeks as the CEO – of his own company. Some of his board members even resigned. Where you choose to donate can and does have serious impacts on your life if you are in any way a public person.

Setting aside any of your personal ethical questions on Eich’s donation, we can all be pretty certain that Eich would have preferred to have his donation not make it into the public sphere. Simply put, that single donation, which was not gigantic in its sum or intrinsic value, managed to create a serious roadblock in his otherwise very illustrious career.

This true story goes to show that if you are a public figure in any capacity and you also have a public record of donating to causes you believe in (even if you think they are for completely benign causes), you are placing yourself at the whims of civil society. If a certain cause falls out of touch with the public at some point in the future, you may soon find yourself on the fast track from a CEO to unemployed. If you want to donate to causes that you believe in, but you do not want to face potentially ruinous public judgment, use our services.

With Silent Donor you can send donations to any organization that you believe in without the worry of facing public backlash. In simplified terms, we send donations for you – privately and anonymously. We believe people and companies have the right to privacy in donations. Keep the impact, lose the scrutiny. If you’re a public figure, consider using Silent Donor today. Protect yourself and protect your privacy.