Mozilla Firefox parent lays off 250 employees, refocuses business beyond browser

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker said the company would refocus on profit-making web products

Mozilla Corporation, best known for its popular Firefox web browser, will lay off about 250 employees and restructure its business amid financial difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday.

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“Economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted our revenue,” Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker said. “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.”

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As part of the restructuring, Mozilla will shut down its operations in Taipei, Taiwan, TechCrunch reported. Laid-off employees will receive a severance package consisting of at least their base pay for the remainder of the calendar year, as well as any performance bonuses they earned.

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Mozilla will move away from its free-to-use model and embrace revenue-generating products, including platforms designed to “mitigate harm” and protect privacy on the internet. The company derives much of its revenue from a deal with Google to include that company’s search engine as the default option in its browser.

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“Recognizing that the old model where everything was free has consequences, means we must explore a range of different business opportunities and alternate value exchanges,” Baker added.

Mozilla had roughly 1,000 global employees as of 2018, the most recent year in which employment data was available. The company laid off 70 employees in January.

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