Mozilla is laying off 250 people, about a quarter of its workforce, and plans to move some teams to projects aimed at monetization. The closing of the Taipei office is also expected. After the corporate restructuring, as confirmed by a spokesperson, the employees will remain about 750.
Mozilla had already fired around 70 people last January, before the outbreak of the pandemic. In that case, the reasons were indicated in the delay in the release of some products useful to generate revenue. The virus instead got it later "a significant impact on revenue", as stated by Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker, effectively making the set goals impossible.
Baker has set a number of new goals for Mozilla. Among these, the focus on creating a community, the development of new products that "mitigate the damage", "that they are loved and wanted by users" and which, above all, can allow for the creation of new revenue streams.
Mozilla gets most of its earnings from companies that pay to make Firefox their default search engine. These include Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia and, in particular, Google in the United States and most of the rest of the world. The company also earns from royalties, subscriptions and advertising
Baker says the company will initially focus on products such as Pocket, its VPN service (debuted in beta in the US in February), its VR chatroom hubs, and new tools related to "security and privacy". Mozilla started rolling out paid services in the last year by offering a news subscription and access to a VPN directly from Firefox.
Mozilla has certainly had a tough decade that has seen a decline in Firefox's market share and the failure of major projects, including Firefox OS.