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Mozilla is laying off 250 people and planning a ‘new focus’ on making money

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Moz/FF

As part of the layoffs, Baker laid out a series of new focuses for Mozilla to set a stronger course for the company. That includes focuses on building community, building new products that “mitigate harms” and “that people love and want” to use, and crucially, to build out new revenue streams.

Mozilla makes most of its money from companies paying to make their search engine the default in Firefox. This includes deals with Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia, and most notably, Google in the US and most of the rest of the world. The company also makes money from royalties, subscriptions, and advertising, but those search deals still represent the “majority” of its revenue.

Baker says Mozilla will initially focus on products such as Pocket, its VPN service, its VR chatroom Hubs, and new “security and privacy” tools. The company started launching paid consumer services over the past year, offering a news subscription and access to a VPN from directly within Firefox.

Firefox is also getting a stronger focus on user growth “through differentiated user experiences.” That means reducing investment in other areas, though, such as in building out developer tools.

Mozilla has had a rough decade, as Firefox’s market share dwindled and attempts at bigger projects — like a Firefox phone running Firefox OS — fell apart. Baker seems to recognize that Mozilla needs to meet people where they are, building products that people want to use on the platforms they’re already using. She became CEO in April and was appointed interim CEO in December 2019; Baker has been the chair of the Mozilla Foundation since 2003.

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Changing World, Changing Mozilla

  • Changing World, Changing Mozilla

    This is a time of change for the internet and for Mozilla. From combatting a lethal virus and battling systemic racism to protecting individual privacy — one thing is clear: an open and accessible internet is essential to the fight.

    Mozilla exists so the internet can help the world collectively meet the range of challenges a moment like this presents. Firefox is a part of this. But we know we also need to go beyond the browser to give people new products and technologies that both excite them and represent their interests. Over the last while, it has been clear that Mozilla is not structured properly to create these new things — and to build the better internet we all deserve.

    Today we announced a significant restructuring of Mozilla Corporation. This will strengthen our ability to build and invest in products and services that will give people alternatives to conventional Big Tech. Sadly, the changes also include a significant reduction in our workforce by approximately 250 people. These are individuals of exceptional professional and personal caliber who have made outstanding contributions to who we are today. To each of them, I extend my heartfelt thanks and deepest regrets that we have come to this point. This is a humbling recognition of the realities we face, and what is needed to overcome them.

Mozilla today announced they are laying off around 250...

  • Mozilla Laying Off Around A Quarter Of Their Employees

    Mozilla today announced they are laying off around 250 of their employees with Mozilla Corporation and closing up their Taipei, Taiwan operations.

    Due to falling revenues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mozilla is resorting to immediate cost-saving measures and acknowledging their pre-COVID plans are no longer feasible. This 250 reduction in headcount appears to be roughly a quarter of their paid staff.

Some LWN comments

Mozilla Lays Off Staff, Receives More Cash

  • Mozilla Lays Off Staff, Receives More Cash

    In a restructuring move, Mozilla lays off 250 employees, but then inks large deal with Google.

    Mozilla isn’t a stranger to struggle. Be it market share or financial issues, the foundation that delivers the most popular open source browser and email client to the Linux platform has always had to fight to keep its head above water.

    So it should come as no surprise that last week the foundation laid off almost a quarter of its staff. To this issue, Mitchell Baker (Mozilla CEO) said:

    “This will strengthen our ability to build and invest in products and services that will give people alternatives to conventional Big Tech.”

Mozilla cuts 250 jobs, says Firefox development will be affected

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