“Manhandled” by the Media Again?!

9 Apr

Brendan Eich was forced out as Mozilla CEO after unapologetic comments last week over the US$1,000 he donated to a campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2014/04/07/2003587456/1

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO and leaving the company following protests over his support of a gay marriage ban in California.

The nonprofit that makes the Firefox browser infuriated many employees and users last week by naming Eich head of the Mountain View, California-based organization.

At issue was Eich’s US$1,000 donation in 2008 to the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that outlawed same-sex marriages. The ban was overturned last year when the US Supreme Court left in place a lower-court ruling striking down the ballot measure.

 

Reading the above passages, I was like “(  ̄ c ̄)y▂ξ, man again?”~ How many times will we have to see this kind of “manhandling” media condemnation?

Continue with the article:

The departure raises questions about how far corporate leaders are allowed to go in expressing their political views.

“CEOs often use their station to push for certain viewpoints and get some muscle for those viewpoints,” said UCLA management professor Samuel Culbert. “But if you are going to play the game you have to think of both sides.”

Company leaders have to be conscious of what impact their own views may have on the success of their organization, Culbert argues. While some leaders, such as Starbucks Corp head Howard Schultz, have been outspoken in their political positions, it is often in a vein that is line with the ethos of his company. Culbert said that taking a position that is divisive can both drive away customers and hurt employee morale.

The onus is also on the corporation and its board to assess whether anything that a candidate has done or said in the past will adversely affect the company’s reputation, said Microsoft Corp Chairman John Thompson, who led a five-month search that culminated in Microsoft hiring Satya Nadella as its new CEO in February.

When you run a public company or any visible organization, what you think and what you say is always going to affect the company,” said Thompson, “You have to be mindful of how things you do and say will affect your customers, your employees and your investors.”

 

I agree with that’s said above regarding how/why an influential figure should think twice on what (s)he is about to say because more often than not it will carry more weight on not only himself/herself but the corporation/organization/foundation (s)he represents. However, I can’t help wondering what would happen should Warren Buffett say in an interview that he was actually against same-sex marriage (NOT homosexuality). I highly doubt his shareholders will sell Berkshire Hathaway’s shares or ask him to step down because of his stance on same-sex marriage. (一-一”)

 

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