Mozilla – the name behind the Firefox browser – has had a rough pandemic, so rough in fact that it has announced that a quarter of its workforce will be let go.
The announcement was made by chairwoman and chief executive officer at Mozilla, Mitchell Baker, in a blog post published on Tuesday.
The CEO announced that a significant restructuring was afoot at Mozilla Corporation and while it would strengthen the company’s position, a quarter of Mozilla’s workforce would not see that change.
“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,” wrote Baker.
The reason all of this is happening is quite simply COVID-19. The economic conditions around the world have forced many businesses to rethink what they do and Mozilla was no different.
“Economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted our revenue. As a result, our pre-COVID plan was no longer workable. Though we’ve been talking openly with our employees about the need for change — including the likelihood of layoffs — since the spring, it was no easier today when these changes became real. I desperately wish there was some other way to set Mozilla up for long term success in building a better internet,” wrote Baker.
With this in mind, it should come as no suprise then that Mozilla is now focusing on making money.
Initially Mozilla will focus its investments on Pocket, Hubs, Web Assembly and its VPN product.
“In addition, we are creating a new Design and UX team to support these products and a new applied Machine Learning team that will help our products include ML features,” Baker told staffers in a memo.
With offices around the world, Mozilla employees in the United States, Canada, France, Australia and Taiwan are affected by this announcement.
Despite all of this, Mozilla is still intent on building a better browser and ultimately making the internet a better place.
“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,” wrote Baker who also acknowledged that this is no small feat and it will require continuous improvement.
[Source – Mozilla]