Mozilla Corporation

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Mozilla Corporation
Type Private
Founded August 3, 2005 (2005-08-03)
Headquarters Mountain View, California, US
Key people Mitchell Baker
(Executive Chairwoman),
Chris Beard
(Interim CEO)
Products Firefox
Mozilla Thunderbird
more...
Revenue $163.4 million (2011) [1]
Net income $21.6 million (2011)[1]
Employees 1000+[2]
Parent Mozilla Foundation
Website www.mozilla.org
MozillaEvelynAveHeadquarters.jpg
Entrance to the Mountain View office which is home to both the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation

The Mozilla Corporation (abbreviated MoCo) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation that coordinates and integrates the development of Internet-related applications such as the Firefox and SeaMonkey web browsers and the Mozilla Thunderbird email client 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 Corporation, the Mozilla Corporation is a taxable entity. The Mozilla Corporation reinvests all of its profits back into the Mozilla projects.[3] The Mozilla Corporation's stated aim is to work towards the Mozilla Foundation's public benefit to "promote choice and innovation on the Internet."[4]

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.[5]

Establishment[edit]

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 dollars 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."[6][7]

Notable events[edit]

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.[8] 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."[9] 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 will now run through 2011."[10] The deal was extended again another 3 years, until November 2014. In this latest deal Mozilla will get another $900 million ($300 million annually) from Google, nearly 3 times the previous amount.[11]

In August 2006, Microsoft posted a letter on Mozilla newsgroups[12] and offered to open up a new open-source facility at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to Mozilla software engineers. Mozilla responded by accepting the offer.[13]

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 denied recognition to same-sex marriages performed in the state of California which was supported by a majority of California voters.[14] Three of six Mozilla board members reportedly resigned over the choice of CEO,[15] though Mozilla said the resigning board members had "a variety of reasons"[16] and reasserted its continued commitment to LGBT equality,[17][18] including same-sex marriage.[19] 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.[20] On April 3, Mozilla announced that Eich had decided to step down as CEO and also leave the board of Mozilla Foundation.[21] The public attacks on Eich for his personal political views that led to this also themselves drew much criticism, including being denounced by gay activist blogger Andrew Sullivan [22] and being called, "the most open, blatant example of the new fascism" by Newt Gingrich.[23][24]

In April 2014 an interim CEO was appointed, Chris Beard, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Mozilla.

Affiliations[edit]

Google[edit]

The Mozilla Corporation's relationship with Google has been noted in the popular press,[25][26] especially with regard to their paid referral agreement. Mozilla's original search deal with Google 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 the browser to leave Google as its default search engine. The price was driven up due to aggressive bidding from Microsoft's Bing search engine, and Yahoo!'s presence in the auction as well. Despite the deal, Mozilla Firefox maintains relationships with Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, Amazon.com and eBay.[27]

Combined income of Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation
Year Total Proportion derived from Google Reference
2005 $52.9 million 95% [28][29]
2006 $66.9 million 90% [28][30]
2007 $81 million 88% [31][32]
2008 $78.6 million 91% [33]
2009 86% [citation needed]
2010 $123 million 84% [27][34]
2011 $163.5 million 85% [34]

The release of the anti-phishing protection in Firefox 2 in particular raised considerable controversy:[35] Anti-phishing protection, enabled by default, is based on a list updated twice hourly from Google's servers.[36] The user cannot change the data provider within the GUI,[37] and is not informed who the default data provider is. The browser also sends Google's cookie with each update request.[38] Some[who?] internet privacy advocacy groups have expressed concerns surrounding Google's possible uses for this data, especially since Firefox's privacy policy states that Google may share (non-personally identifying) information gathered through safe browsing with third parties, including business partners.[39]

Following Google CEO Eric Schmidt's comments in December 2009 regarding privacy during a CNBC show,[40] Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development suggested that users use the Bing search engine instead of Google search.[41] 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.[42]

Microsoft[edit]

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.[43] Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has used Firefox, but has commented that "it's just another browser, and IE [Microsoft's Internet Explorer] is better".[44]

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."[45] 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.[46]

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.[47] 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.[48]

In August 2006, Microsoft offered to help Mozilla integrate Firefox with the then-forthcoming Windows Vista,[49] an offer Mozilla accepted.[50]

In October 2006, as congratulations for a successful ship of Firefox 2, the Internet Explorer 7 development team sent a cake to Mozilla.[51][52] 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.[53] The IE development team sent another cake on June 17, 2008, upon the successful release of Firefox 3,[54] again on March 22, 2011, for Firefox 4,[55] and yet again for the Firefox 5 release.[56]

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.[57] 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.[58]

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).[59] The update received media attention after users discovered that the add-on could not be uninstalled through the add-ons interface.[60][61] 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.[62] 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.[60]

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.[63] Two days later, the add-on was removed from the blocklist after confirmation from Microsoft that it is not a vector for vulnerabilities.[64][65] 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.[66]

Firefox is one of the twelve browsers offered to European Economic Area users of Microsoft Windows since 2010 – see BrowserChoice.eu.[67]

IRS audit[edit]

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.[68]

In November 2012, the audit was closed after finding that the Mozilla Foundation owed a settlement of $1.5 million to the IRS.[69][70]

People[edit]

Most Mozilla Foundation employees transferred to the new organization at Mozilla Corporation's founding.

Board of directors[edit]

The Board of directors is appointed by and responsible to Mozilla Foundation's board. In March 2014, half the board members resigned.[15] The remaining board members are:

Management team[edit]

The senior management team includes:

  • Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman
  • Chris Beard, CEO (interim), former CMO.
  • Jim Cook, CFO
  • Jay Sullivan, COO
  • Andreas Gal, CTO
  • Debbie Cohen, Chief of People
  • Li Gong, Senior VP of Mobile Devices

Notable current employees[edit]

Notable past employees[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary: 2011 Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  2. ^ It has 1,000 employees (website), The New York Times, 04 Apr 2014, retrieved 4 Apr 2014 
  3. ^ staff (5 Aug 2005), Mozilla Foundation Reorganization, Mozilla Corporation, archived from the original on 21 Apr 2008 
  4. ^ "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. 3 August 2005. 
  5. ^ MozillaZine article: "Mozilla Foundation Announces Creation of Mozilla Corporation" Retrieved via the Internet Archive on 03-24-2009.
  6. ^ Keizer, Gregg (25 October 2007). "Mozilla can live without Google's money, Baker says". Computerworld. 
  7. ^ Houston, Thomas (5 December 2011). "Future of Firefox's Google search partnership remains uncertain". The Verge. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Calacanis blog: "Firefox (Mozilla Corporation/Mozilla Foundation) made $72M last year?!"
  9. ^ Blizzard, Christopher (7 March 2006). "apply pinky to corner of mouth". 0xDeadBeef.com. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Kincaid, Jason (28 August 2008). "Mozilla Extends Lucrative Deal With Google For 3 Years". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Murphy, David (24 December 2011). "Google Paying Mozilla Almost $1B for Firefox Search: Why?". PC Magazine. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "mozilla.dev.planning Microsoft offer". Google Groups. 
  13. ^ Baker, Colin (August 24, 2006). "Microsoft offers helping hand to Firefox". CNET. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. 
  14. ^ Machkovech, Sam (March 25, 2014). "Gay Firefox developers boycott Mozilla to protest CEO hire [Updated]". ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Barr, Alistair (March 28, 2014). "Three Mozilla Board Members Resign over Choice of New CEO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ Machkovech, Sam (March 29, 2014). "Three Mozilla board members—including former CEOs—step down". ArsTechnica. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Mozilla Statement on Diversity". Official blog. Mozilla. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ Eich, Brendan (March 26, 2014). "Inclusiveness at Mozilla". Personal blog. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality". Official blog. Mozilla. March 29, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ Kelly, Heather (April 1, 2014). "OkCupid protests Firefox over CEO's anti-same-sex marriage donation". CNN. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Swisher, Kara (April 3, 2014). "Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board". Re/code. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  22. ^ "The Hounding Of A Heretic". 
  23. ^ "ABC News 'This Week': Mozilla Controversy". 
  24. ^ "Gingrich: Mozilla Case a ‘Blatant Example of the New Fascism’". 
  25. ^ Kerner, Sean Michael (March 10, 2006). "Mozilla's Millions?". InternetNews. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  26. ^ Gonsalves, Antone (March 7, 2006). "Mozilla Confirms Firefox Taking In Millions Of Google Dollars". InformationWeek. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  27. ^ a b 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. 
  28. ^ a b 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.
  29. ^ Baker, Mitchell (January 2, 2007). "The Mozilla Foundation: Achieving Sustainability". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  30. ^ Baker, Mitchell (October 22, 2007). "Beyond Sustainability". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  31. ^ Hood & Strong, LLP. (December 31, 2007 and 2006). "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  32. ^ Baker, Mitchell (November 19, 2008). "Sustainability in Uncertain Times". Mitchell's Blog. Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  33. ^ Hood & Strong, LLP. (December 31, 2008 and 2007). "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiaries — Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  34. ^ a b 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. 
  35. ^ Turner, Brian (October 26, 2006). "Firefox 2 releases privacy storm". Platinax. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Firefox Privacy Policy". mozilla.com. October 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  37. ^ "Bug 342188 – support changing the local list data provider". Bugzilla@Mozilla. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  38. ^ "Bug 368255 sending Google's cookie with each request for update in default antiphishing mode". Bugzilla@Mozilla. Retrieved February 5, 2007. 
  39. ^ "Google Safe Browsing Service in Mozilla Firefox Version 3". Google. Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  40. ^ "Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People". Gawker. Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  41. ^ "If you have nothing to hide...". December 10, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009. 
  42. ^ "Betanews". Betanews. Retrieved June 27, 2010. 
  43. ^ Kotadia, Munir (November 11, 2004). "Microsoft: Firefox does not threaten IE's market share". ZDNet. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  44. ^ Weber, Tim (May 9, 2005). "The assault on software giant Microsoft". BBC News. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  45. ^ 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. 
  46. ^ Weber, Tim (May 10, 2005). "How Microsoft plans to beat its rivals". BBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  47. ^ "Better Website Identification and Extended Validation Certificates in IE7 and Other Browsers". IE Blog. November 21, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  48. ^ "Icons: It's still orange". RSS. December 14, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  49. ^ Barker, Colin (August 22, 2006). "Microsoft reaches out to Firefox developers". CNET News. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  50. ^ Barker, Colin (August 24, 2006). "Microsoft offers helping hand to Firefox". CNET News. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  51. ^ Wenzel, Frédéric (October 24, 2006). "From Redmond With Love". fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern). Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  52. ^ "Mozilla People Answer Firefox 2.0 Questions". Retrieved July 14, 2007. 
  53. ^ "Tonynet Explorer: October 2006 Archives". Tonynet Explorer. Retrieved December 19, 2009. 
  54. ^ Wenzel, Frédéric (June 17, 2008). "From Redmond With Love, Part 2". fredericiana (weblog of a Mozilla Corporation intern). Retrieved June 18, 2008. 
  55. ^ Emil Protalinski. "Microsoft sends Mozilla another cake for Firefox 4 release". TechSpot. 
  56. ^ Alex Wilhelm. "Microsoft sends Mozilla traditional treat to celebrate shipping Firefox 5". The Next Web. 
  57. ^ "Internet Explorer and Firefox Vulnerability Analysis Report". November 30, 2007. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  58. ^ "counting still easy, critical thinking still surprisingly hard". November 30, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  59. ^ "Microsoft may be Firefox's worst vulnerability". July 7, 2009. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  60. ^ a b "Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension". The Washington Post. May 29, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  61. ^ "Remove the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant (ClickOnce) Firefox Extension". February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. 
  62. ^ "Brad Abrams: Uninstalling the ClickOnce Support for Firefox". February 27, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  63. ^ 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. 
  64. ^ Shaver, Mike (October 18, 2009). "update: .NET Framework Assistant (ClickOnce support) unblocked". Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  65. ^ Shaver, Mike (October 19, 2009). "update on the .NET Framework Assistant and Windows Presentation Foundation plugin blocking from this weekend". Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  66. ^ Krebs, Brian (June 3, 2009). "Microsoft's Fix for the Firefox Add-on Snafu". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  67. ^ BBC, Microsoft offers browser choices to Europeans, March 1, 2010
  68. ^ Metz, Cade. "Mozilla millions still 86% Google cash". The Register. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  69. ^ Baker, Mitchell. "Mozilla Foundation IRS audit now closed". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  70. ^ Kerr, Dara. "Mozilla gets lucky, settles IRS audit for $1.5M". Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  71. ^ "About the Mozilla Corporation". Mozilla. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  72. ^ "Mozilla Moving Forward". Mozilla. 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-06-02. 
  73. ^ "So Long, Chris Blizzard". Asa Dotzler. 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  74. ^ John's Tumblr - Announcing Chris Beard as Greylock Executive-in-Residence. Lilly.tumblr.com (2013-07-08). Retrieved on 2014-02-20.

External links[edit]