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Mozilla is laying off around 60 workers

Mozilla is the latest in a long line of tech companies to lay off employees this year. The not-for-profit company is firing around 60 people, which equates to roughly five percent of its workforce. Most of those who are leaving Mozilla worked on the product development team. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

“We’re scaling back investment in some product areas in order to focus on areas that we feel have the greatest chance of success,” a Mozilla spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. “To do so, we’ve made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 60 roles from across the company. We intend to re-prioritize resources towards products like Firefox Mobile, where there’s a significant opportunity to grow and establish a better model for the industry.”

According to an internal memo obtained by TechCrunch, Mozilla plans to pare back investments on several products, including its VPN and a tool that automatically scrubs a user’s personal information from data broker sites. The company announced the latter just one week ago. Hubs, the 3D virtual world Mozilla debuted in 2018, is shutting down while the company is also reducing resources dedicated to its Mastodon instance.

One area into which Mozilla does plan to funnel extra resources is, unsurprisingly, artificial intelligence. “In 2023, generative AI began rapidly shifting the industry landscape. Mozilla seized an opportunity to bring trustworthy AI into Firefox, largely driven by the Fakespot acquisition and the product integration work that followed,” the memo reportedly reads. “Additionally, finding great content is still a critical use case for the internet. Therefore, as part of the changes today, we will be bringing together Pocket, Content and the AI/ML teams supporting content with the Firefox Organization.”

The reorganization comes after Mozilla appointed a new CEO just last week. Former Airbnb, PayPal and eBay executive Laura Chambers, who joined Mozilla’s board three years ago, was appointed chief executive for the rest of this year. “Her focus will be on delivering successful products that advance our mission and building platforms that accelerate momentum,” Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s former long-time CEO and its new executive chairman, wrote when Chambers took on the job.

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