Mozilla lays off 25% of company staff due to pandemic

(Credit: Mozilla)

Firefox developer Mozilla is laying off about 250 company employees, citing the economic impact of COVID-19.

Earlier this year, the company launched a plan to run a lean operation, including suspending hiring and cutting 70 employees. But on Tuesday, Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker said “significant restructuring” was needed to keep the company financially afloat.

“The economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have had a significant impact on our revenues. As a result, our pre-COVID plan was no longer feasible,” she said. wrote in a blog post.

Last November, Mozilla reported more than 1,000 full-time employees, so the company is cutting about a quarter of its workforce. It was also decided to shut down Mozilla’s operations in Taipei, Taiwan, while another 60 people will “change teams,” Baker said in an internal statement. a message to employees.

Mozilla generates most of its revenue through the Firefox browser. Although the product is free to consumers, the company has royalty agreements with Google and Yahoo to present their in-browser search engines as the default choice. However, the deal money has dwindled. In 2018, royalties brought in just $429.7 million, down from $539.2 million the previous year.

The company also derives revenue from advertising, but the pandemic has caused many companies to stop buying ads.

As a result, Mozilla will focus on developing new revenue streams outside of Firefox. “Recognizing that the old model where everything was free has consequences means we need to explore a range of different business opportunities and alternative value exchanges,” Baker said in his internal message.

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One of Mozilla’s newer products includes a paid VPN service, which costs $4.99 per month. The company is also working on a virtual reality chat platform called Hubsand a news reader app called Pocketsin addition to security and privacy related products.

Mozilla is creating a new design and user experience team to support these products. However, the company is reducing some resources around the Firefox browser. “We are reducing investments in certain areas such as developer tools, internal tools and platform feature development, and moving adjacent security/privacy products to our New Products and Operations team,” Baker said.

“We are also restructuring to put more emphasis on new product development and go to market activities,” she added. “In the long term, I am confident that the new organizational structure will serve our product and market impact objectives well.”

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