Jump to content

Mitchell Baker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mitchell Baker
Headshot of Baker smiling
Baker in 2009
Winifred Mitchell Baker

1957 (age 66–67)[1]
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley, (BA, JD)
SpouseCasey Dunn

Winifred Mitchell Baker (born 1957) is the Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and former CEO of the Mozilla Corporation,[2] a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation that coordinates development of the open source Mozilla Internet applications, including the Mozilla Firefox web browser. She left the CEO role in February, 2024.[3]

Baker was trained as a lawyer. She coordinates business and policy issues and sits on both the Mozilla Foundation Board of Directors and the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors. In 2005, Time included her in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[4][5]

Education and early employment[edit]

Baker received a BA in Chinese studies[6] at the University of California, Berkeley in 1979, achieving a Certificate of Distinction. She received her JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley in 1987 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in the same year.[7][8] From January 1990 until October 1993, she worked as a Corporate and Intellectual Property Associate at Fenwick & West LLP, a law practice that specialises in providing legal services to high technology companies. She then worked for Sun Microsystems as an Associate General Counsel from November 1993 until October 1994.[citation needed]

Netscape Communications Corporation and mozilla.org[edit]

In November 1994, Baker was hired as one of the first employees of the legal department of Netscape Communications Corporation.[9] Reporting directly to CEO Jim Barksdale, she jointly set up the initial department. She was responsible for intellectual property protection and legal issues relating to product development, reporting to the General Counsel. She also created and managed the Technology Group of the Legal Department. She was involved with the Mozilla project from the outset, writing both the Netscape Public License and the Mozilla Public License. In February 1999, Baker became the general manager of mozilla.org, the division of Netscape that coordinated the Mozilla open source project. In 2001, she was fired during a round of layoffs at America Online, by then the parent of Netscape.[10] Despite this, she continued to serve as general manager of mozilla.org on a volunteer basis.[11]

Open Source Applications Foundation[edit]

In November 2002, Baker was employed by the Open Source Applications Foundation, helping to guide the group's community relations and taking a seat on OSAF's Board of Directors.[12]

Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation[edit]

A profile photo of Baker
Baker in 2008
Baker telling the story of Mozilla's founding in 2012

Baker was instrumental in the creation of the Mozilla Foundation, an independent non-profit that was launched on July 15, 2003, as America Online shut down the Netscape browser division and drastically scaled back its involvement with the Mozilla project. Baker became the President of the Mozilla Foundation and was appointed to the five-person Board of Directors.[4]

When the Mozilla Corporation was launched as a taxable subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation on August 3, 2005, Baker was named the CEO of the new entity. In addition, she joined the Mozilla Corporation's Board of Directors, though she also kept her seat on the Mozilla Foundation's board, as well as her role as Chairperson.

On January 8, 2008, Mozilla announced that Baker, while retaining her role as Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, would no longer serve as CEO of the Corporation, and that MoCo's Chief Operating Officer John Lilly would take over this role.[13] The reasons cited for this change was Mozilla's rapid growth, which made it difficult for executives to continue to take on many different roles.[14] In April 2020 she was named CEO of Mozilla Corporation again.[15]

On February 8, 2024, Mozilla announced that Baker would be stepping down as CEO to "focus on AI and internet safety"[16] as chair of the Mozilla Foundation.

Negative salary-performance correlation[edit]

In 2018, Baker received a total of $2,458,350 in compensation from Mozilla, a 400% payrise since 2008.[17] Over the same period, Firefox market share was down 85%. When asked about her salary she stated "I learned that my pay was about an 80% discount to market. Meaning that competitive roles elsewhere were paying about 5 times as much. That's too big a discount to ask people and their families to commit to."[18]

In 2020, after returning to the position of CEO, Baker's salary rose to in excess of $3 million. In 2021, her salary rose again to more than $5 million,[19] and again to nearly $7 million in 2022[20]). In August 2020 the Mozilla Corporation laid off approximately 250 employees due to shrinking revenues, after previously laying off roughly 70 in January (prior to the pandemic). Baker blamed this on the COVID-19 pandemic, despite revenue rising to record highs in 2019, and market share shrinking.[21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Mitchell Baker was listed among the 2005 Top 100 by Time, in the "Scientists & Thinkers" section.[22]

In 2009, Baker received the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Leadership.[23][24]

In 2012, Baker was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Baker's husband is Casey Dunn.[8] She has one son.[1]


  1. ^ a b "NNDB: Mitchell Baker". Soylent Communications. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  2. ^ "Mozilla Leadership". Mozilla. Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  3. ^ "Mozilla names new CEO as it pivots to data privacy". Fortune. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  4. ^ a b Andreessen, Marc (2005-04-18). "100 Most Influential People in the World: Scientists & Thinkers". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  5. ^ "The 25 Most Influential People on the Web". Business Week. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  6. ^ Mallory, Taylor (May 20, 2013). "Mitchell Baker - Chairperson & Former CEO, Mozilla Corporation & Creator of Mozilla Firefox". Little Pink Book. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "Web 2.0 Expo: Mitchell Baker". Web 2.0 Expo. 2008-04-24. Archived from the original on 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  8. ^ a b Baker, Mitchell (2009-01-21). "7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me". Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  9. ^ "mozilla.org Staff Members". Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  10. ^ Schofield, Jack (2008-02-28). "Wrangling the web into an open future". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  11. ^ Severance, Charles. "Mitchell Baker: The Mozilla Foundation". Coursera. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Mitchell Baker Joins OSAF Staff". mozillaZine. 2002-11-18. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  13. ^ Schofield, Jack (2008-04-06). "Firefox's Mitchell Baker -- the anniversary interview in full". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  14. ^ Thomson, Iain (2008-01-08). "Mitchell Baker steps down as Mozilla appoints new boss". IT News. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  15. ^ "Mitchell Baker Named CEO of Mozilla". blog.mozilla.org. 2020-04-08. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  16. ^ "Mozilla names new CEO as it pivots to data privacy". Fortune. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  17. ^ "Disclosure : Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax" (PDF). assets.mozilla.net. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Mitchell Baker". Archived from the original on 2021-10-24.
  19. ^ "2021 Mozilla IRS Form 990" (PDF).
  20. ^ "2022 Mozilla IRS Form 990" (PDF).
  21. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "Endangered Firefox: The state of Mozilla". ZDNet. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. ^ Andreessen, Marc (2005-04-18). "Scientists and Thinkers: Mitchell Baker". TIME. Archived from the original on June 18, 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
  23. ^ "Top Women in Tech – Backstage at Anita Borg Institute Vision Awards". ValleyZen. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  24. ^ "Winifred Mitchell Baker - Anita Borg Institute". Anitaborg.org. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  25. ^ "2012 Inductees". Internet Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.

External links[edit]

New title CEO of Mozilla Corporation
3 August 2005–2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by Interim CEO of Mozilla Corporation

December 2019 – present