Mozilla had been attempting to raise revenue independent from search with a number of projects such as their Firefox Private Network VPN and also affiliate marketing for companies such as ProtonMail. 91% still comes from search contracts however as their offerings failed to catch on. Firefox has steadily lost market share over the last 10 years, dropping from around 30 to 10% browser share on the desktop and failing to make any inroads on mobile, making this source of revenue also increasingly under threat.
“You may recall that we expected to be earning revenue in 2019 and 2020 from new subscription products as well as higher revenue from sources outside of search. This did not happen,” said Mozilla chairwoman and interim CEO Mitchell Baker in an internal memo.
Mozilla said they had “a strong line of sight to future revenue generation” but had to be conservative with their funding to reach that point, laying to the lay-offs. Mozilla has around 1000 employees.
Baker said Mozilla would offer those laid off “generous exit packages” and outplacement support. The Twittersphere has been supportive to the laid-off developers, in many cases offering them employment opportunities.
My heart goes out to all of my friends and colleagues at Mozilla affected by today’s layoffs. If you ping me, I’ll signal boost anyone looking for a new job. (And if you’re interested in working on another spunky browser with some familiar values, my DMs are open.)
— Ricky Mondello (@rmondello) January 15, 2020
Our hearts go out to our colleagues at Mozilla impacted by layoffs. Please reach out if you need help amplifying your search for your next role. https://t.co/S9QogLpkGF
— Sean Lyndersay (@SeanOnTwt) January 15, 2020