Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker announces layoff of hundreds of employees, future of Firefox browser not mentioned in the internal reorganization
In January 2020, Mozilla has handed over pink slips to 70 odd employees in a restructuring exercise. Now it had embarked on a bigger internal reorganization by laying off nearly 250 employees. Another 60 Mozilla employees would be allocated other roles.
Mozilla CEO, Mitchell Baker announced the new reorganization goals in a statement published on the Mozilla official blog. Baker stated in the post that Mozilla had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and needs to let people go. She also stated that Mozilla needs to focus on five key points to run the restructured organization more efficiently.
No mention of the role of Firefox in Mozilla’s reorganization or future!
Strangely, the whole longish statement justifying the layoffs of 250 employees didn’t spell out any future role for the Firefox browser. Baker mentioned in the post that they had planned for Firefox browser in the pre-COVID-19 era but she didn’t say how the reorganization will affect Firefox in the future. “As I shared in the internal message sent to our employees today, our pre-COVID plan for 2020 included a great deal of change already: building a better internet by creating new kinds of value in Firefox; investing in innovation and creating new products; and adjusting our finances to ensure stability over the long term,” Baker stated.
While detailing the five key points, Baker hasn’t even mentioned Firefox, which made many industry watchers question how Mozilla sees Firefox in the future.
Firefox browser is Mozilla’s milch cow but recently, especially after the launch of Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser, the flagship product has been stuttering. More users are ditching the Firefox browser in favor of the Edge browser while Google’s Chrome usage continues to grow in its merry way.
Mozilla has always struggled with its finances. It has been trying out new ways of making money and those include the recently launched paid Mozilla VPN. Mozilla launched its VPN service for $5 a month for Android smartphones and Windows 10 PC/laptops. But it seems that the VPN is not doing so well as Mozilla though and at present Firefox browser remains Mozilla’s top bet.
The Mozilla CEO didn’t mention whether any Firefox engineers were among the 250 staff that are being laid off.