Earlier this week, Mozilla fired 250 employees, and another 60 employees moved to other teams. The media reports that Mozilla’s downsizing has seriously affected security professionals.
Mozilla head and Mozilla Foundation CEO Mitchell Baker said the organization is forced to rethink its plans and adapt to the new realities that have changed greatly after COVID-19, and in various ways to strengthen its financial position.
Given that Mozilla had approximately 1,000 employees, and the organization had already laid off 70 employees earlier this year, Mozilla lost a third of its workforce in 2020.
“In the near future, Mozilla will rethink its business model and focus on financially viable products”, – said Mitchell Baker.
It should be noted that previously about 90% of all Mozilla’s revenue came from a deal with Google (Google is turned off in Firefox as a default search engine), but this contract ends at the end of this year, and it has not been renewed. Because of this, many experts have expressed concerns about what will happen to Mozilla after 2021.
However, this week the ZDNet, citing its own anonymous sources in the industry, assured that the contract with Google is likely to be extended until 2023.
Mozilla indirectly confirmed this information, informing reporters that the organization intends to continue cooperation with Google and even expand it.
Nevertheless, let us return to the topic of staff reduction. Although Mitchell Baker did not disclose in her statement which specialists would be fired, SecirutyWeek writes that at least two cybersecurity specialists were laid off.
One of them is Sarah Huffman, who has served as an information security risk manager for two and a half years, and the second is Michal Purzynski, an information security expert from the threat management team.
Purzinski, who has been working at Mozilla for more than eight years, says on Twitter that he is not the only employee that was laid off: the entire threat management team was disbanded. In his opinion, in this way, Mozilla has completely lost opportunity to detect and respond to incidents.
The publication notes that now some members of the cybersecurity community argue that this decision by Mozilla can be interpreted as a disregard for security, although others believe that the Mozilla leadership is doing the right thing.
Mozilla representatives commented on the situation and said that the security restructuring in the organization should have a positive effect and in that future, it will only improve security of Mozilla itself and its users.
“During the restructuring, some positions were indeed abolished, but the teams responsible for the security of the Firefox browser and Firefox services were not affected”, — explaine the company.
According to ZDNet, programmers working on Mozilla’s experimental Servo engine, developers overseeing the Mozilla Developer Network, and the Firefox developer tools team also fell under the cuts.
Let me remind you that earlier Mozilla suspended Firefox Send service due to abuse and malware and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company returned support for the unsafe FTP protocol to Firefox.