Mozilla has just announced a major restructuring of its commercial arm, Mozilla Corporation, which will lead to the dismissal of 250 employees (a decision they had been debating since spring), the closure of its operations in Taipei (Taiwan) and the reorientation of some of its teams towards more commercially profitable projects.
The most recent Mozilla employee figures are from 2018 and they were around a thousand worldwide, so they will operate with approximately 750.
Mitchel Baker, the CEO of Mozilla, has attributed this decision to the “significant” impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on their income, which has made their pre-pandemic plans “unfeasible”.
However, as early as last January, when there was still no pandemic and Baker had been acting CEO for only a month, the organization had already laid off another 70 workers due to the slow launch of commercial products.
Change of course towards commercial
Therefore, the first step that Mozilla will take to get out of the pothole will be to focus on creating new products that allow it to reach users and “mitigate the damage” by generating new sources of income that complement what is its main source for now: agreements with search engines (Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China, Google in the rest of the world) to be included as the browser’s default search engines.
Also, will promote some of the commercial services that they already have in their catalogsuch as the VPN they launched last year, the Pocket cloud bookmarking service, and their virtual reality chat Hubs, as well as “new security and privacy tools.” This, however, will mean reduce Mozilla’s investment in other areas, such as creating developer tools:
“I desperately wish there was some other way to prepare Mozilla for long-term success […] but to go further, we must reorganize ourselves to be able to think in a different world. “
With this decision, Mozilla leaves behind a difficult decade, in which its flagship product (the Mozilla Firefox browser) has lost market share significantly, and in which its most ambitious projects, such as the launch of its mobile operating system Firefox OS, ended up in failure.
Of course, Baker promises that this change of course towards commercial profitability must not jeopardize Mozilla’s role as “technical powerhouse of the Internet activist movement”, and ensures that he will focus on working closely with partners who share his goal of building a more open web ecosystem.
Via | TechCrunch
Image | Mozilla in Europe (via Flickr)
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