Mozilla is laying off around 250 employees as part of a corporate restructure caused by the long-term impact of COVID-19. In a blog post, Mozilla chief Mitchell Baker said that the pandemic has “significantly impacted our revenue.” Consequently, the corporation, which has around 1,000 employees, has been forced to abandon its original product plans for 2020 as well as lose around 25 percent of its staff.
Employees losing their jobs will receive severance pay and COBRA benefits until at least December 31st, 2020. They will also still have access to previously-allocated company bonuses, and Mozilla has pledged to help as many people find new jobs as possible. In addition, 60 people will forced to change jobs, while the Mozilla offices in Taipei, Taiwan, is being shut down.
At the same time, Mozilla is working to double-down on building a more efficient web browser that contributes to “the better internet we all deserve.” That includes investments in Pocket, Hubs, Web Assembly and its own VPN and privacy products. It’ll also spend money to develop a new applied machine learning team to build those features into Mozilla’s platforms.
This is the second round of layoffs at Mozilla this year after the company let 70 employees go back in January. At the time, Mitchell Baker said that the cuts were due to a failure to earn enough money through Firefox’s revenue-generating products. It will be interesting to see how Mozilla navigates this new normal and if it can make money through its offerings, but having a credible rival to browsers from Google and Microsoft is vital.