Mozilla Corporation, the non-profit foundation behind the popular Firefox web browser, has announced the dismissal of 250 people, approximately 25% of the workforce.
The company cited the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and a new focus on developing profitable products to justify the layoffs. It is the second workforce reduction so far this year after the departure of 70 employees in January and joins the first financial losses in 20 years.
“Today we are making significant changes to Mozilla Corporation”Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, wrote on the official blog. “Our pre-COVID plan is no longer working. We are also restructuring to put a sharper focus on new product development and go towards what the market demands ».
“This is hard to internalize and I wish there was some other way to prepare Mozilla for success in building a better Internet.”Baker added. «I desperately wish that all those who choose Mozilla as an employer can stay as long as interest and skills are connected. Unfortunately, we can’t make that happen today.«.
The Foundation says which will permanently close its operations in Taipei, Taiwan, and will shortly detail the rest of the personnel affected, mainly in the United States and Canada. Also se will offer another 60 employees the change of equipment.
These are not good times at Mozilla. Its star development, the Firefox browser, is in a worrying situation, in a negative market share slope that has lasted for more than two years and is key to accessing a multitude of Internet services, the large electronic commerce market, search and the fabulous online advertising business.
Microsoft’s strategic shift away from its own rendering engine to use Google’s Chromium has left Mozilla alone. The company has already advanced its fears that users and developers will abandon what is currently the only real alternative to Chromium.
On the other hand, Mozilla’s income comes mainly from the contract it has with Google. A huge dependency that covers 90% of the total budget of the company. And there are no alternatives. The previous agreement with Yahoo !, precisely to avoid dependence on Google, ended in disaster. Black clouds for Mozilla, a necessary provider for its commitment to privacy and the free Internet and with the only open source browser among the greats.