Tech companies aren’t immune to global pandemic effects. In July 2020, LinkedIn announced that it was letting go of more than 900 of its employees. Today, Mozilla announced that it’s going to lay off around 250 people from its global workforce. Because of the layoff, its Taipei operations will be closed.
But it’s not the first time that Mozilla laid off its employees this year. Earlier in 2020, it also cut out 70 jobs.
In an internal message, CEO Mitchell Baker said that its pre-COVID plans could no longer be applied because of the global pandemic. Its revenues are falling.
Before COVID, Mozilla planned to build a better Internet. It also prepared to invest in new products and adjust its finances to lengthen its lifespan.
Since the spring, Mitchell has been talking about the likelihood of layoffs. She wished that there was another way to set up the organization for long term success without having to let go of some of its employees.
Unfortunately, with falling revenues, the company has to go smaller if it wants to go forward. Despite the smaller organization, Mozilla promised that it’s going to act more quickly and nimbly.
The CEO also promised that it’ll work more with the organization’s partners that also share the same vision of having an open web ecosystem.
The new organizational structure will be focusing on new product development and proceed to market activities. The company will continue focusing on Firefox, Pocket, and Hubs VR project. It’ll also continue developing its new VPN service and other security and privacy products. VPN apps are considered a money-maker in tech.
But Mozilla was too late to arrive at the VPN party. Despite that, it has become one of the players on the market. One of the reasons is its reputation as an organization that values privacy first.
Its contract with Google to use Google as the default search provider in Firefox will expire this year. The contract is yet to be renewed but there’s no news yet whether or not it will be restored. This deal accounted for 90% of the company’s revenue. And if Google will not renew the contract, Mozilla’s future past 2021 will be greatly affected.
Those employees who were let go will receive severance, which is equivalent to their full base pay up to December 31. They’ll also get performance bonuses for the first part of the year. Plus, they will receive a company bonus and the COBRA health insurance benefits.
Mozilla and other tech companies are adapting to the new environment. They have to make hard calls to stay in business. Reducing job roles is one of the ways for businesses to stay afloat.
The layoffs in various companies are not surprising. The US economy is currently in a tailspin. And we can expect to see more layoffs in the next few months. This action will address the economic realities brought on by COVID-19. Reducing the size of the workforce is a difficult decision. But companies like Mozilla and LinkedIn are not immune to the pandemic’s effects. It looks like more and more people are waiting on the sidelines.