Mozilla Makes Layoffs and Scales Back Existing Products

The company is downsizing to refocus efforts on Firefox and artificial intelligence.

Software community Mozilla is laying off around 60 workers and considerably scaling back its product offering and strategy according to an internal memo shared this week.

The news comes just days after the appointment of interim CEO Laura Chambers, and looks set to impact VPN, Relay, and its Online Footprint Scrubber.

It also comes as the latest organization to join the relentlessly growing list of tech companies making layoffs in 2024. 

Scaling Back Product Offering

Mozilla called the downsizing decision a “strategic correction” which will allow teams to focus on areas that the organization feel have the greatest chance of success.

A Mozilla spokesperson stated: “We’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 60 roles from across the company. We intend to re-prioritize resources towards products like Firefox Mobile, where there’s a significant opportunity to grow and establish a better model for the industry.”

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The company behind the Firefox browser will shut down its 3D virtual world Hubs, first launched back in 2018, and scale back investment for

What Exactly Are The Changes?

Scaling back investment on was the company’s attempt to create a “safer, better social media experience, based on Mastodon and the Fediverse”. However, this idea proved difficult to execute properly, needing more team agility and greater funds to service the platform at the size it was. Now, a smaller team will work on a more modest approach to the concept.

Scaling back investment on Security and Privacy products

Following recognition that security and privacy is a competitive space, Mozilla plans to reduce financing for VPN, Relay, and Online Footprint Scrubber. It will however, “maintain investment in products addressing customer needs in growing market segments”.

Winding down the 3D virtual world Hubs

The company noted that “demand has moved away from 3D virtual worlds… impacting all industry players”, giving it little justification in using resources for the Hubs platform.

Optimizing the size of its People Team

Owing to the layoffs in MozProd and subsequent staffing budgets, some roles have been consolidated in the People and other support service teams.

AI Focus Ahead

The memo also announced a renewed focus on bringing “trustworthy” artificial intelligence capabilities into Firefox. To do this, it will merge the teams currently working on Pocket, Content, and AI/MI.

This AI focus will capitalize on work already started following its acquisition of Fakespot last year, which is an AI-powered platform able to detect fake reviews and scams. 

While details on some of the specific organizational changes are still to be shared, it’s been confirmed that there will be no changes within Legal & Policy, Finance & Business Operations, Marketing, or Strategy & Operations.

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Written by:
Ellis Di Cataldo (MA) has over 9 years experience writing about, and for, some of the world’s biggest tech companies. She's been the lead writer across digital campaigns, always-on content and worldwide product launches, for global brands including Sony, Electrolux, Byrd, The Open University and Barclaycard. Her particular areas of interest are business trends, startup stories and product news.
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