Mozilla Lays Off 70

Posted on January 16, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Uncategorized with 8 Comments

Citing the “limits of [its] core finances,” Firefox maker Mozilla this week laid off 70 employees. And more layoffs could be on the way.

“Mozilla must do two things in this era: Continue to excel at our current work, while we innovate in the areas most likely to impact the state of the internet and internet life,” Mozilla chairwoman and interim CEO Mitchell Baker writes in a post to the firm’s corporate blog. “In order to do that responsibly, we’ve also had to make some difficult choices which led to the elimination of roles at Mozilla which we announced internally today … to responsibly make additional investments in innovation to improve the internet, we can and must work within the limits of our core finances.”

In that internal memo, which was obtained by TechCrunch, Baker says that a slow rollout of new revenue-generating products explains the layoffs. And that the final number of layoffs may be higher, as the company looks more closely at its international locations as well.

“We expected to be earning revenue in 2019 and 2020 from new subscription products as well as higher revenue from sources outside of search,” the memo explains. “This did not happen. Our 2019 plan underestimated how long it would take to build and ship new, revenue-generating products. Given that, and all we learned in 2019 about the pace of innovation, we decided to take a more conservative approach to projecting our revenue for 2020. We also agreed to a principle of living within our means, of not spending more than we earn for the foreseeable future.”

The laid-off employees received “generous exit packages” and outplacement support, Bakers writes. But it’s not yet clear which employees were laid off or what products they were working on.

“We know we must take bold steps to evolve and ensure the strength and longevity of our mission. Mozilla has a strong line of sight to future revenue generation, but we are taking a more conservative approach to our finances,” the memo continues. “This will enable us to pivot as needed to respond to market threats to internet health, and champion user privacy and agency.”

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Mozilla Lays Off 70”

  1. sherlockholmes

    Im a big fan of Firefox. But their problems are mostly made by themselfs. In my opinion, they lost the focus on what features are important to users and what arent.

  2. wright_is

    It is a shame, but the new offerings don't seem to offer enough, compared to existing products and just aren't of interest to me.

    And the biggest problem is, that over 90% of their income comes from their biggest competitor in the browser market, Google...

    I do donate to Mozilla, but it is just a drop in the ocean.

  3. skolvikings

    Firefox used to be a go-to browser.

  4. MarkPow

    Oh dear... With the probable sucess of New Edge it will be interesting to see which side of the axe the Gecko team are on.

  5. txag

    I deleted Firefox when they dumped Brendan Eich.

  6. rahewitt

    Hopefully it will include some of the roles of people that took wrong moves with the browser in the past. Eg end-of-lifing the classic extensions without there being the equivalent in the new API.

  7. ExploreLearnMake

    While I use the new Edge as my main browser, I prefer Firefox for doing web development. I just find their dev tools to be far superior to any other browser. Let's hope they continue and don't go under.

  8. earlster

    Firefox is my daily browser, and has been for many years. Short of pinning sites to the desktop like apps, which I don't do there is nothing that it's missing compared to Chrome, but the privacy features are so much better. I only use chrome for google sites (which is rare) and I'm not logged into my google account on FF.

    New Edge might be interesting, but at this point I don't see a reason to switch.

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