Should L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling be suspended for racist remarks?
But in each of these cases, there are at least two issues that seem similar and worth discussing in tandem.
First, within the company or organization itself, the CEO/owner behavior is upsetting to a significant portion of the workforce. Eich’s Mozilla colleagues expressed problems with his stance on Prop. 8 in a way that may or may not have impaired his ability to lead the company. Sterling’s comments have roiled the Clippers locker room, not to mention members of the league (it’s never fully clear when it comes to sports leagues whether the proper unit of analysis is a single team or the larger league).
Second, there’s a serious public-relations issue. Companies that have a particular organizational philosophy and clientele can withstand fallout from mission-based decisions or revelations. Hence, neither Hobby Lobby nor Chik-fil-A has paid much of a price for sticking to their guns regarding corporate stances on birth-control mandates or having a CEO who has made anti-gay comments.
Whether Mozilla could have handled the Eich controversy differently is a question worth asking.