Mozilla's headquarters in Mountain View, California
|Founded||August 3, 2005|
Number of employees
The Mozilla Corporation (stylized as moz://a) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation that coordinates and integrates the development of Internet-related applications such as the Firefox web browser, by a global community of open-source developers, some of whom are employed by the corporation itself. The corporation also distributes and promotes these products. Unlike the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, and the Mozilla open source project, founded by the now defunct Netscape Communications Corporation, the Mozilla Corporation is a taxable entity. The Mozilla Corporation reinvests all of its profits back into the Mozilla projects. The Mozilla Corporation's stated aim is to work towards the Mozilla Foundation's public benefit to "promote choice and innovation on the Internet."
A MozillaZine article explained:
The Mozilla Foundation will ultimately control the activities of the Mozilla Corporation and will retain its 100 percent ownership of the new subsidiary. Any profits made by the Mozilla Corporation will be invested back into the Mozilla project. There will be no shareholders, no stock options will be issued and no dividends will be paid. The Mozilla Corporation will not be floating on the stock market and it will be impossible for any company to take over or buy a stake in the subsidiary. The Mozilla Foundation will continue to own the Mozilla trademarks and other intellectual property and will license them to the Mozilla Corporation. The Foundation will also continue to govern the source code repository and control who is allowed to check in.
The Mozilla Corporation was established on August 3, 2005, to handle the revenue-related operations of the Mozilla Foundation. As a non-profit, the Mozilla Foundation is limited in terms of the types and amounts of revenue. The Mozilla Corporation, as a taxable organization (essentially, a commercial operation), does not have to comply with such strict rules. Upon its creation, the Mozilla Corporation took over several areas from the Mozilla Foundation, including coordination and integration of the development of Firefox and Thunderbird (by the global free software community) and the management of relationships with businesses.
With the creation of the Mozilla Corporation, the rest of the Mozilla Foundation narrowed its focus to concentrate on the Mozilla project's governance and policy issues. In November 2005, with the release of Mozilla Firefox 1.5, the Mozilla Corporation's website at mozilla.com was unveiled as the new home of the Firefox and Thunderbird products online.
In 2006, the Mozilla Corporation generated $66.8 million in revenue and $19.8 million in expenses, with 85% of that revenue coming from Google for "assigning [Google] as the browser's default search engine, and for click-throughs on ads placed on the ensuing search results pages."
In March 2006, Jason Calacanis reported a rumor on his blog that Mozilla Corporation gained $72M during the previous year, mainly thanks to the Google search box in the Firefox browser. The rumor was later addressed by Christopher Blizzard, then a member of the board, who wrote on his blog that, "it’s not correct, though not off by an order of magnitude." Two years later, TechCrunch wrote: "In return for setting Google as the default search engine on Firefox, Google pays Mozilla a substantial sum – in 2006, the total amounted to around $57 million, or 85% of the company’s total revenue. The deal was originally going to expire in 2006, but was later extended to 2008 and then ran through 2011." The deal was extended again another 3 years, until November 2014. Under the deal, Mozilla was to have received from Google another $900 million ($300 million annually), nearly 3 times the previous amount.
In August 2006, Microsoft invited Mozilla employees to collaborate to ensure compatibility of Mozilla software with then upcoming Windows Vista. Microsoft offered to host one-to-one at the new open-source facility at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Mozilla accepted the offer.
In March 2014, Mozilla came under some criticism after it appointed Brendan Eich as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In 2008, Eich had made a $1,000 contribution in support of California Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that barred legal recognition of same-sex marriages in California. Three of six Mozilla board members reportedly resigned over the choice of CEO, though Mozilla said the resigning board members had "a variety of reasons" and reasserted its continued commitment to LGBT equality, including same-sex marriage. On April 1, the online dating site OkCupid started displaying visitors using Mozilla Firefox a message urging them to switch to a different web browser, pointing out that 8% of the matches made on OkCupid are between same-sex couples. On April 3, Mozilla announced that Eich had decided to step down as CEO and also leave the board of Mozilla Foundation. This, in turn, prompted criticism from some commentators who criticized the pressure that led Eich to resign. For example, Conor Friedersdorf argued in The Atlantic that "the general practice of punishing people in business for bygone political donations is most likely to entrench powerful interests and weaken the ability of the powerless to challenge the status quo."
On February 27, 2017, Mozilla acquired the bookmark manager and suggestion service Pocket. In accordance with Mozilla's history of operating as "open by default" and based on comments by Mozilla chief business officer Denelle Dixon-Thayer that Pocket would "become part of the Mozilla open source project", it was reported that Pocket would become open source. Prior to the acquisition, the startup behind Pocket operated it as a closed source, commercial service, and Mozilla published the source code that added a "Save to Pocket" feature to Firefox as open source. As of August 2020[update], Pocket remains closed source, while the extension remains open source.
In January 2020, Mozilla fired 70 employees after the new revenue streams could not deliver the expected revenue quickly enough. In August 2020, Mozilla announced restructuring that will close down Mozilla operations in Taipei, Taiwan, and reduce Mozilla's workforce in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. All together, about 250 people will be let go with severance packages and ~60 people will be reassigned to different projects or teams. Mozilla is "reducing investment in some areas such as developer tools, internal tooling, and platform feature development" and reorganizing "security/privacy products" to prioritize revenue-generating projects. Shortly after the announcement of staff cuts, Mozilla insiders leaked information that the Google search deal will be extended until 2023 instead of expiring in 2020, meaning the corporation financial state is stable.
This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (April 2012)
The Mozilla Corporation's relationship with Google has been noted in the popular press, especially with regard to their paid referral agreement. Mozilla's original deal with Google to have Google Search as the default web search engine in the browser expired in 2011, but a new deal was struck, where Google agreed to pay Mozilla just under a billion dollars over three years in exchange for keeping Google as its default search engine. The price was driven up due to aggressive bidding from Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo!'s presence in the auction as well. Despite the deal, Mozilla Firefox maintains relationships with Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, Baidu, Amazon.com and eBay.
|Year||Total||Proportion derived from Google||Reference|
Following Google CEO Eric Schmidt's comments in December 2009 regarding privacy during a CNBC show, Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development suggested that users use the Bing search engine instead of Google search. Google also promoted Firefox through YouTube until the release of Google Chrome. In August 2009, Mozilla Security assisted Google by pointing out a security flaw in Google's Chrome browser.
In November 2014, Mozilla signed a five-year partnership with Yahoo!, making Yahoo! Search the default search engine for Firefox browsers in the US. With the release of Firefox Quantum on November 17, 2017, Google became the default search engine again.
Microsoft's head of Australian operations, Steve Vamos, stated in late 2004 that he did not see Firefox as a threat and that there was not significant demand for the feature-set of Firefox among Microsoft's users. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but has commented that "it's just another browser, and IE [Microsoft's Internet Explorer] is better".
A Microsoft SEC filing on June 30, 2005 acknowledged that "competitors such as Mozilla offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of our Windows operating system products." The release of Internet Explorer 7 was fast tracked, and included functionality that was previously available in Firefox and other browsers, such as tabbed browsing and RSS feeds.
Despite the cold reception from Microsoft's top management, the Internet Explorer development team maintains a relationship with Mozilla. They meet regularly to discuss web standards such as extended validation certificates. In 2005, Mozilla agreed to allow Microsoft to use its Web feed logo in the interest of common graphical representation of the Web feeds feature.
In October 2006, as congratulations for a successful ship of Firefox 2, the Internet Explorer 7 development team sent a cake to Mozilla. As a nod to the browser wars, some jokingly suggested that Mozilla send a cake back along with the recipe, in reference to the open-source software movement. The IE development team sent another cake on June 17, 2008, upon the successful release of Firefox 3, again on March 22, 2011, for Firefox 4, and yet again for the Firefox 5 release.
In November 2007, Jeff Jones (a "security strategy director" in Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group) criticized Firefox, claiming that Internet Explorer experienced fewer vulnerabilities and fewer higher severity vulnerabilities than Firefox in typical enterprise scenarios. Mozilla developer Mike Shaver discounted the study, citing Microsoft's bundling of security fixes and the study's focus on fixes, rather than vulnerabilities, as crucial flaws.
In February 2009, Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for version 3.5 of the .NET Framework. This update also installed Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant add-on (enabling ClickOnce support). The update received media attention after users discovered that the add-on could not be uninstalled through the add-ons interface. Several hours after the website Annoyances.org posted an article regarding this update, Microsoft employee Brad Abrams posted in his blog Microsoft's explanation for why the add-on was installed, and also included detailed instructions on how to remove it. However, the only way to get rid of this extension was to modify manually the Windows Registry, which could cause Windows systems to fail to boot up if not done correctly.
On October 16, 2009, Mozilla blocked all versions of Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant from being used with Firefox and from the Mozilla Add-ons service. Two days later, the add-on was removed from the blocklist after confirmation from Microsoft that it is not a vector for vulnerabilities. Version 1.1 (released on June 10, 2009 to the Mozilla Add-ons service) and later of the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant allows the user to disable and uninstall in the normal fashion.
The Internal Revenue Service opened an audit of the Mozilla Foundation's 2004-5 revenues in 2008, due to its search royalties, and in 2009, the investigation was expanded to the 2006 and 2007 tax years, though that part of the audit was closed. As Mozilla does not derive at least a third of its revenue from public donations, it does not automatically qualify as a public charity.
Most Mozilla Foundation employees transferred to the new organization at Mozilla Corporation's founding.
Board of directors
- Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman & CEO
- Julie Hanna[self-published source]
- Karim Lakhani[self-published source]
The senior management team includes:
- Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman & CEO
- Katharina Borchert, Chief Innovation Officer, former CEO of Spiegel Online
- Michael DeAngelo, Chief People Officer
- Lindsey Shepard, CMO
- Mark Mayo, CPO
- Roxi Wen, CFO
- Sean White, Chief Research and Development officer
Notable current employees
Notable past employees
- John Lilly, former CEO of Mozilla Corporation
- Christopher Blizzard, former Open Source Evangelist (now at Facebook)
- John Resig, former Technical Evangelist (now at Khan Academy)
- Mike Schroepfer, former VP of Engineering (now at Facebook)
- Mike Shaver, former VP of Technical Strategy (now at Facebook)
- Window Snyder, former Chief Security Officer (now at Square, Inc.)
- Ellen Siminoff, former board member, also President and CEO of Shmoop University and Chairman of Efficient Frontier
- Li Gong, president of Mozilla Corporation until 2015
- Doug Turner, former Engineering Director (now at Google Chrome)
- Andreas Gal, former CTO (now at Silk Labs)
- Johnny Stenback, former Engineering Director (now at Google Chrome)
- John Hammink
- "Mozilla revenue dropped in 2018 but it is still doing well". Ghacks.
- "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary: 2016 & 2017 Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation.
- Cimpanu, Catalin (August 11, 2020). "Mozilla is laying off 250 people and planning a 'new focus' on making money". The Verge. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
- staff (August 5, 2005), Mozilla Foundation Reorganization, Mozilla Corporation, archived from the original on April 21, 2008
- "Mozilla Foundation Forms New Organization to Further the Creation of Free, Open Source Internet Software, Including the Award-Winning Mozilla Firefox Browser" (Press release). Mozilla. August 3, 2005.
- MozillaZine article: "Mozilla Foundation Announces Creation of Mozilla Corporation" Retrieved via the Internet Archive on 03-24-2009.
- Keizer, Gregg (October 25, 2007). "Mozilla can live without Google's money, Baker says". Computerworld. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Houston, Thomas (December 5, 2011). "Future of Firefox's Google search partnership remains uncertain". The Verge. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
- Calacanis blog: "Firefox (Mozilla Corporation/Mozilla Foundation) made $72M last year?!"
- Blizzard, Christopher (March 7, 2006). "apply pinky to corner of mouth". 0xDeadBeef.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Kincaid, Jason (August 28, 2008). "Mozilla Extends Lucrative Deal With Google For 3 Years". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Murphy, David (December 24, 2011). "Google Paying Mozilla Almost $1B for Firefox Search: Why?". PC Magazine. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "mozilla.dev.planning Microsoft offer". Google Groups.
- Baker, Colin (August 24, 2006). "Microsoft offers helping hand to Firefox". CNET. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012.
- Silver, Nate (April 4, 2014). "How Rare Are Anti-Gay-Marriage Donations in Silicon Valley?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- Machkovech, Sam (March 25, 2014). "Gay Firefox developers boycott Mozilla to protest CEO hire [Updated]". ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Barr, Alistair (March 28, 2014). "Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Machkovech, Sam (March 29, 2014). "Three Mozilla board members—including former CEOs—step down". ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- "Mozilla Statement on Diversity". Official blog. Mozilla. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Eich, Brendan (March 26, 2014). "Inclusiveness at Mozilla". Personal blog. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality". Official blog. Mozilla. March 29, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- Kelly, Heather (April 1, 2014). "OkCupid protests Firefox over CEO's anti-same-sex marriage donation". CNN. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- David Robertson (April 6, 2014). "Firefox fails the tolerance test: We're free but it may cost us our jobs | Christian News on Christian Today". Christiantoday.com. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- Swisher, Kara (April 3, 2014). "Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board". Re/code. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Richi Jennings, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich quits: But now the backlash begins..., Computerworld (April 4, 2014).
- Jimmy Akin How you can push back against Mozilla/Firefox's gay marriage thuggery, National Catholic Register (April 6, 2014).
- Mozilla CEO resignation raises free-speech issues, Associated Press (April 4, 2016): "While many gay-rights activists and commentators welcomed Eich's departure, there were dissenters. Andrew Sullivan, a prominent gay blogger, railed against the pressure that led to the resignation."
- Conor Friedersdorf (April 4, 2014). "Mozilla's Gay-Marriage Litmus Test Violates Liberal Values". The Atlantic.
- Mitchell Baker (July 28, 2014). "Chris Beard Named CEO of Mozilla". Mozilla. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Mozilla acquires Pocket to gain a foothold on mobile devices". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Shankland, Stephen. "Firefox fail: Layoffs kill Mozilla's push beyond the browser". CNET. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- "Mozilla lays off 70 as it waits for new products to generate revenue". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- Cimpanu, Catalin. "Mozilla lays off 250 employees while it refocuses on commercial products". ZDNet. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- Brodkin, Jon (August 12, 2020). "Mozilla cuts 250 jobs, says Firefox development will be affected". Ars Technica. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
- Cimpanu, Catalin. "Sources: Mozilla expected to extend its Google search deal". ZDNet. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
- Kerner, Sean Michael (March 10, 2006). "Mozilla's Millions?". InternetNews. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Gonsalves, Antone (March 7, 2006). "Mozilla Confirms Firefox Taking In Millions Of Google Dollars". InformationWeek. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Swisher, Kara (December 22, 2011). "Google Will Pay Mozilla Almost $300M Per Year in Search Deal, Besting Microsoft and Yahoo". All Things D. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Hood & Strong, LLP. (December 31, 2006). "Mozilla Foundation and subsidiary — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved November 6, 2007. Page 11.
- Baker, Mitchell (January 2, 2007). "The Mozilla Foundation: Achieving Sustainability". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
- Baker, Mitchell (October 22, 2007). "Beyond Sustainability". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved June 23, 2008.
- Hood & Strong, LLP. (December 31, 2007). "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Baker, Mitchell (November 19, 2008). "Sustainability in Uncertain Times". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- Hood & Strong, LLP. (December 31, 2008). "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiaries — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- Hood & Strong, LLP. (October 15, 2012). "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary — December 31, 2011 and 2010 — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Retrieved July 19, 2013.
- "The State of Mozilla: 2018 Annual Report". Mozilla. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- Turner, Brian (October 26, 2006). "Firefox 2 releases privacy storm". Platinax. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- "Bug 368255 sending Google's cookie with each request for update in default antiphishing mode". Bugzilla@Mozilla. Retrieved February 5, 2007.
- "Google Safe Browsing Service in Mozilla Firefox Version 3". Google. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
- "Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People". Gawker. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
- "If you have nothing to hide..." Weblogs.mozillazine.org. December 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009.
- "Betanews". Betanews. Retrieved June 27, 2010.
- "New Search Strategy for Firefox: Promoting Choice & Innovation". The Mozilla Blog.
- "Firefox Features Google as Default Search Provider in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan – The Mozilla Blog". The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- Kotadia, Munir (November 11, 2004). "Microsoft: Firefox does not threaten IE's market share". ZDNet. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Weber, Tim (May 9, 2005). "The assault on software giant Microsoft". BBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Keizer, Gregg (September 1, 2005). "SEC Filing Shows Microsoft Fears Firefox, Lawsuits Over Bugs". Linux Online. Archived from the original on May 2, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Weber, Tim (May 10, 2005). "How Microsoft plans to beat its rivals". BBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2008.
- "Better Website Identification and Extended Validation Certificates in IE7 and Other Browsers". IE Blog. November 21, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
- "Icons: It's still orange". RSS. December 14, 2005. Archived from the original on December 16, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
- Barker, Colin (August 22, 2006). "Microsoft reaches out to Firefox developers". CNET News. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Barker, Colin (August 24, 2006). "Microsoft offers helping hand to Firefox". CNET. CNET News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- Wenzel, Frédéric (October 24, 2006). "From Redmond With Love". fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern). Retrieved January 24, 2007.
- "Mozilla People Answer Firefox 2.0 Questions". Retrieved July 14, 2007.
- "Tonynet Explorer: October 2006 Archives". Tonynet Explorer. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- Wenzel, Frédéric (June 17, 2008). "From Redmond With Love, Part 2". fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern). Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- Emil Protalinski. "Microsoft sends Mozilla another cake for Firefox 4 release". TechSpot.
- Alex Wilhelm. "Microsoft sends Mozilla traditional treat to celebrate shipping Firefox 5". The Next Web.
- "Internet Explorer and Firefox Vulnerability Analysis Report". November 30, 2007. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- "counting still easy, critical thinking still surprisingly hard". November 30, 2007. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- "Microsoft may be Firefox's worst vulnerability". July 7, 2009. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- "Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension". The Washington Post. May 29, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
- "Remove the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant (ClickOnce) Firefox Extension". February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009.
- "Brad Abrams: Uninstalling the ClickOnce Support for Firefox". February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
- Morgan, Michael (October 16, 2009). "blocklist evil versions of microsoft .NET Framework Assistant (the name of the add-on slipped into Firefox)". Bugzilla@Mozilla. Mozilla Foundation.
- Shaver, Mike (October 18, 2009). "update: .NET Framework Assistant (ClickOnce support) unblocked". Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Shaver, Mike (October 19, 2009). "update on the .NET Framework Assistant and Windows Presentation Foundation plugin blocking from this weekend". Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Krebs, Brian (June 3, 2009). "Microsoft's Fix for the Firefox Add-on Snafu". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- BBC, Microsoft offers browser choices to Europeans, March 1, 2010
- Metz, Cade. "Mozilla millions still 86% Google cash". The Register. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
- Baker, Mitchell. "Mozilla Foundation IRS audit now closed". Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- Kerr, Dara. "Mozilla gets lucky, settles IRS audit for $1.5M". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "About the Mozilla Corporation". Mozilla.
- "Katharina Borchert to Join Mozilla Leadership Team as Chief Innovation Officer". Mozilla. October 12, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "Mozilla Leadership". Mozilla.
- Shankland, Stephen (December 10, 2015). "Startup picks up the torch for troubled Firefox OS". CNET. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
- "Firefox OS Arrives in South Africa". Mozilla Press Center. Retrieved December 12, 2015.