The irony is that although they have damaged American corporate culture by sowing seeds that will bear destructive fruit for years and decades to come, Eich's critics did Mozilla a genuine service by exposing the mistake that was made in promoting a man who had been a very effective technology innovator to the CEO position. Eich was less a victim of the point-and-shriek crowd than the Peter Principle, which states: "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence".This has nothing to do with gay marriage (which I support) or the Progressive desire to burn heretics (which I find to be profoundly disturbing, in a fascist-meets-religious-fanatic sort of way). Rather, it goes back to the very roots of why I have run Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape for 20 years: technical excellence.
And now Mozilla is out a perfectly good CTO, Eich has been humiliated and is unemployed, the left-wing lunatics have been encouraged by successfully taking a scalp, and every Christian and conservative in corporate America now knows that it is purge or be purged time. (Don't forget, small business owners, it is legal under federal law to fire an employee for his Democratic Party affiliations.) All because the Mozilla board did not know its internal candidate well enough to realize that he lacked the backbone to be a CEO-caliber leader.
That is quite questionable now. It appears that Mozilla has serious organizational issues, (by implication) serious morale issues, and that their employees and Board of Directors would prefer to jettison* one of the tech industry's premier CTOs than violate non technical Progressive social norms.
And so, the only logical conclusion is that Firefox will (is?) become a second tier browser. Technically speaking.
And so the question is what to replace it with. I'm not sure, but I'm going to start looking around. And from Mozilla's perspective, this is a Very Bad Thing - once your users begin to think about changing, it's very difficult to get them not to. It's like with friction - the big energy input is to overcome static friction and inertia, to get the object sliding. It takes much less effort once that's happened.
It's too bad, but maybe inevitable in the cloud cuckooland that is the Bay Area. Maybe what the industry needs is a major player to be seen to put themselves on the fast track to irrelevance because of an emphasis on non-technical trivialities.
* Eich has left Mozilla entirely:
Eich has personally confirmed he has not only stepped down as CEO, he has quit Mozilla outright.
"I’m leaving Mozilla to take a rest, take some trips with my family, look at problems from other angles," he said. "I encourage all Mozillians to keep going."