Breaking: Mozilla has a new CEO

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 9, 2024
Firefox
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43

Mozilla has a new CEO. The announcement on Mozilla's official web blog confirms that Mitchell Baker is no longer Mozilla's CEO. Mozilla's new CEO is Laura Chambers, who has been a Mozilla board member for the past three years.

Chambers will fill the role as interims CEO until the end of the year or until a permanent replacement is found. Baker continues to work for Mozilla as Mozilla Corporation Executive Chairwoman.

Baker says that Chambers is "well-equipped to guide Mozilla through this transitional period". The focus in the 10 months to come will be on "delivering successful products" and "building platforms that accelerate momentum" according to the announcement.

Chambers will refine "the company's vision" and align "the corporate and product strategy behind it" according to the post. She will also double down on core products like Firefox.

Whether that is even possible in the few months that she has as CEO remains to be seen.

Baker was criticized in the past for her salary as CEO at Mozilla. While her salary doubled several times in the past years, Mozilla Firefox's marketshare dropped.

Mozilla also let go of hundreds of employees in 2020 as part of a restructuring of the company.

Firefox, Mozilla's core product and main money maker, is mentioned once in the announcement. It is listed as one of several of Mozilla's core products.

Mozilla makes most of its revenue from search deals in Firefox. In particular, from promoting Google Search in Firefox.

The organization created several products in the past to diversify its revenue sources. Most of them are web-based services, like the recently announced Mozilla Monitor Pro, Mozilla VPN or Firefox Relay.

These, as well as project such as Mozilla AI, have helped Mozilla diversify revenue. Royalties still make up more than 80% of the organizations overall revenue.  Mozilla's non-Firefox products are growing, but the organization needs more of them to be prepared for a time when revenue from search engine deals may fall significantly.

Closing Words

Others, closer to the matter, will evaluate Baker's years as a CEO at Mozilla. Facts are that Firefox lost market share in that time and that Mozilla pivoted to other products to prepare for the future. Currently, Mozilla seems to pivot away from naming all of its new products "Firefox". The organization renamed some of them, for instance Firefox Monitor, to Mozilla Monitor.

Firefox is not neglected, but it may still feel as if Mozilla could have done better earlier. The unlocking of full extensions support for Firefox for Android happened just a month ago. It could have been introduced earlier. Now, even Microsoft is bringing extensions support to its Edge browser for Android.

Now You: if you'd be Mozilla's CEO, what would you do next?

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Breaking: Mozilla has a new CEO
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Breaking: Mozilla has a new CEO
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Mozilla has a new CEO. The announcement on Mozilla's official web blog confirms that Mitchell Baker is no longer Mozilla's CEO.
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on February 14, 2024 at 8:04 pm
    Reply

    Firefox probably lost market share, because it is focused on politics and not technology. This is demonstrated by Brendan Eich’s departure as the CEO of the Mozilla corporation.

    Firefox is still my main browser, but I use Brave more as time goes by.

  2. Benjamin said on February 12, 2024 at 9:03 am
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    I still like this one on the background of the mozilla structure… the cash and money flow into and out to not so pleasant entities…

    https://lunduke.locals.com/post/4387539/firefox-money-investigating-the-bizarre-finances-of-mozilla

    1. bravet said on February 12, 2024 at 3:10 pm
      Reply

      @benjamin

      https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/7x61cm/bryan_lunduke_ranting_about_why_https_is_bad/

      He also says you shouldn’t use https, so take him with a grain of salt.

  3. Anonymous said on February 11, 2024 at 12:40 pm
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    Incorrect. Blocking extensions work in parallel.

  4. Alex said on February 11, 2024 at 3:41 am
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    Oh no, this is the lady that wrote the “We need more than deplatforming” article.

    I don’t care who you are, and I might not agree with what you have to say, but censoring and deplatforming is not something I can get behind or look the other way.

    As a long-time user of Firefox, it’s time to say goodbye.

    1. bravet said on February 11, 2024 at 8:41 pm
      Reply

      Choose your browser because you like how it works, not by how much you like the CEO’s politics. You are spending time with the browser, not the CEO.

      1. Anonymous said on February 12, 2024 at 9:29 am
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        In their defense using their product makes the CEO wealthier. Even if you aren’t the kind of person to subscribe to Mozilla’s VPN service, use Pocket or are the kind of person that contributes to Mozilla’s location services there are people who do. Even spending a bit of time in the Mozilla ecosystem means there’s a chance for a paid or revenue generating service – think corporations using their location service days to be advertised to you.

        I actually prefer Google because they’re at least honest about what they do and they behave themselves.

  5. john said on February 10, 2024 at 3:18 pm
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    Mozilla failed when they gave up on Firefox OS. All the major players have platforms in different areas. Even software specific companies like Facebook get into VR. Google (diversified), Apple (diversified), Microsoft the same.

    Even upstarts like Brave have integrated VPN, bitcoin, Tor. They have a front facing page showing off their privacy (number of blocked do-dads) to help persuade the newbs. They are marketing themselves even within their own browser! Mozilla…? Nothing except to complain to the press.

    Mozilla pushed Firefox OS on phones in 3rd world countries because they somehow believe that they are charity. You read their manifesto and it sounds like they are running for political office – not running a business.

    They had a (possible) solution for tablets, for set top boxes. They could have taken Firefox OS into education, low-cost alternative hardware. They had so many options. Options to open up into other markets, to make their presence known.

    There are nearly two generations that never lived the browser wars. Mozilla has failed to reach them.

    They scrapped it all. Last I heard, they were helping KaiOS maintain their fork because Google asked them to. Google is highly invested in KaiOS. Mozilla shifted developers to do this.

    I can’t even select (highlight) a portion of text from with an URL without reading how to do it from Firefox docs. Opera let you do that decades ago – it was built-in! Decades ago!

    Mozilla management is out of touch. They have been for decades. It’s a culture problem. When that is so, everyone must go. Everyone. They are all infected (badly raised/trained).

    1. bravet said on February 11, 2024 at 8:40 pm
      Reply

      @ John

      Lets not pretend all the former Firefox users moved to Opera, Vivaldi or Brave. If that was true then they wouldn’t have even lower market share than Firefox.

      The vast majority went to Google Chrome and a few went to Edge. Why? Because Chrome is installed by default in Android, and by OEMs in desktops. Most “normies” don’t try multiple browsers, they just use what ever is pre-installed.

      Yes, Mozilla’s missteps haven’t helped, but Firefox’s decline would have happened regardless of who was CEO because of Chrome’s near market monopoly.

  6. Anonymous said on February 10, 2024 at 2:53 pm
    Reply

    I use Firefox because I think it is by far the best desktop browser. And as long as that’s the case, I don’t care who the Mozilla CEO is.

  7. Donnie Ellis said on February 9, 2024 at 9:02 pm
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    I love it. I use it. It’s free. It has add-on support. What more can one ask?

    1. John G. said on February 10, 2024 at 7:50 am
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      I wonder what could happen if Chrome is released just today with UblockOrigin installed by default. Ok, my bad, too much coffee it seems. ;(

      1. 2004 said on February 10, 2024 at 4:20 pm
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        Mitchell should go into politics. She perfected the emptiness of corporate lingo full of buzzwords and all the adjectives. Mozilla corporation deserves all the criticism they get. Mitchell Baker doesn’t care that she will be remembered as a corporate leech.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugnOM2mzgNU
        How Mozilla ruined Firefox

        enshitification applies to all facets of the digital age.

        – Signed a Firefox user since 2004

      2. bravet said on February 11, 2024 at 8:43 pm
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        If Firefox is so terrible, why have you used it since 2004? Quit being a victim and switch to Librewolf or Brave.

      3. bravet said on February 10, 2024 at 2:13 pm
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        Don’t think it’s likely an ad company would include an effective ad blocker by default.

      4. John G. said on February 11, 2024 at 3:11 pm
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        @bravet, Google Chrome is able to block 8 types of intrusive ads right now by default.
        I meant all ads by default, however it’s quite difficult to imagine such an option!

  8. john said on February 9, 2024 at 6:30 pm
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    “transitional period”, “delivering successful products”, “building platforms that accelerate momentum”, “the company’s vision” and… “the corporate and product strategy behind it”

    This is corporate speak. These are people enriching themselves as the ship is sinking. They have no passion, they have no love for what they do.

    1. e fromme said on February 10, 2024 at 3:08 pm
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      even passion and love make people blind, ergo a rudderless ship in a sea of greed and corruption.

  9. John said on February 9, 2024 at 6:12 pm
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    Mozilla would be no more if not for Google search revenue. I don’t see changing CEO’s will do anything to solve Mozilla’s overall issues.

  10. nealis said on February 9, 2024 at 12:08 pm
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    Mozilla has so many problems, some it their own making and some outside their control, I doubt any one CEO can reverse Mozilla fortunes. I personally would like to use Firefox for everything b/c I dislike Chromium, but are issues everywhere that impact user experience.

    The Android browser is still pretty janky vs Chromium android. Desktop browser is their best product and main focus, but it always lags in adopting and implementing “new” tech like HDR video support in Windows for example, which dampens any real enthusiasm for their more technically inclined users.

    Mozilla just needs more of everything, but better executives, better and faster development would go a long way to giving the everyday user a real alternative to Chromium.

    1. nellai said on February 9, 2024 at 4:37 pm
      Reply

      May be true. But any day i would take firefox+ublock origin over chrome on Android. Same for desktop too.

      1. nealis said on February 15, 2024 at 4:46 am
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        @nellai, adguard app is a good android level blocker, use any browser ad free. Works better blocking ads than firefox ublock origin android combo.

      2. alay said on February 18, 2024 at 5:10 pm
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        @nealis adguard doesn’t do cosmetic cleaning

  11. BrendanEichAI said on February 9, 2024 at 10:58 am
    Reply

    Breaking: Nobody cares, Mozilla as a Corp or as a browser is irrelevant

    1. 45 RPM said on February 9, 2024 at 4:51 pm
      Reply

      @BrendanEichAI

      Let me guess, you’re a Brave user, right?

  12. Iron Heart said on February 9, 2024 at 10:53 am
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    “Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla’s top exec pay going up 400%”

    https://calpaterson.com/mozilla.html

    Time to retire, Mitchell “Ma” Baker.

    > Chambers will refine “the company’s vision” and align “the corporate and product strategy behind it” according to the post.

    “Corporate”? Impossible! I’ve thought Firefox is developed in some garage by volunteers and is exclusively reliant on user donations.

    1. bravetard said on February 10, 2024 at 2:15 pm
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      @IH

      Mozilla is a non profit. Firefox is a corporation.

  13. bruh said on February 9, 2024 at 10:17 am
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    And yet again I don’t think anybody here cares about the “Mozilla foundation” beyond their offshoot product Firefox, which they have almost zero to do with, and don’t even fund.

    I actually don’t see how reporting on “Mozilla foundation” news is even tech related – what tech products does “Mozilla foundation” have? Again it doesn’t fund Firefox or Thunderbird so they don’t count.

    Let me know if I am mistaken but this seems true.

    1. Therapeutic said on February 10, 2024 at 6:02 am
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      You are mistaken – this news is about Mozilla Corporation, which is responsible for Firefox and the other products mentioned.

      Why do you think Mozilla itself mentioned all these things in the release Martin linked to?

      So, yes, it is tech news, even if it doesn’t fit what some Firefox fans would like to read. As a Firefox user myself, the only thing keeping me on it is it is preinstalled on my Linux distro and I only use software from its official repositories, otherwise I’d install something like Vivaldi which seems to offer a much greater variety of customisation (and which runs rings around Firefox on my mobile, where I can install it from the Google store).

      1. bruh said on February 12, 2024 at 11:05 am
        Reply

        @Therapeutic

        Thanks for the correction, I definitely misread, and ran with it, very far in the wrong direction, that said, I don’t care for much of anything else you said.

        I will chime in with one thing though: I still defy the claim that any browser is more customisable than FF, because none have an equivalent to userchrome css customisation. I’m not a “firefox fan” I technically use chrome more, but there’s some good things buried in that browser, which I think might soon all go away along with the browser. …At least it’s open source, random nobodies can keep bare-bones capability running?

        On an unrelated note, I guess it’s true what they say, that Linux users will always make themselves known. It’s funny though, Linux, the supposed OS of freedom, but “I only use Firefox because it comes pre-installed” doesn’t sound very Linux or very freedom.

      2. Rex said on February 14, 2024 at 11:57 pm
        Reply

        //I still defy the claim that any browser is more customisable than FF, because none have an equivalent to userchrome css customisation

        Pale Moon. Firefox of today is far less customizable than Firefox of a decade ago, and Pale Moon was forked from Firefox 24 and follows its own development path. Which doesn’t involve mucking around with pointless UI changes, so it is far more stable where extension support is concerned. And by extensions, I mean extensions that actually extend the browser UI and functionality, not mere website tweaking. And full themes that totally transform the look of the browser so you can make Pale Moon resemble Firefox Australis,Photon or Chrome itself.
        Firefox meanwhile has followed a standard path over the last 15 years – First remove preferences from the GUI aka ‘You can always change it in about:config!’
        Then remove it from about:config aka ‘You can always use the ESR version!’
        Then it vanishes altogether aka ‘Who needs that feature anyway!’

        Remember when it was possible to write your own extensions for use at home, on the regular build because it didn’t force extension signing that led to disabling all extensions in 2019 due to an invalid certificate?

      3. 2004 said on February 10, 2024 at 4:29 pm
        Reply

        The biggest problem with Vivaldi is that it’s closed source.

  14. Paul said on February 9, 2024 at 9:36 am
    Reply

    Hypothetical question, curious who would like to give a serious heartfelt answer to this.
    Looking forward to the comments

    1. Nebulus said on February 9, 2024 at 5:31 pm
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      I would. What I would do is to care more for the users and the power users, listening to their ideas and requests and trying to implement them. Using corporation lingo like the company’s vision” and “the corporate and product strategy” might impress the board, but it would do nothing to impress the dwindling number of users or convince them to return.

      Disclaimer: I use Firefox as a primary browser on all platforms, so I might be biased on the subject.

  15. 45 RPM said on February 9, 2024 at 9:31 am
    Reply

    One click install of uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger and Tampermonkey, all pre-set and preloaded with a curated FTW maximun settings/scripts. Make that a very inexpensive add-on, like $2.99 and share 50% with the folks who make those products. Win-win-win for Mozilla, its users and the fine people who make these to protect us from the cesspool the Web has been for too many years.

    1. ShintoPlasm said on February 11, 2024 at 9:06 pm
      Reply

      Tampermonkey is a privacy nightmare. Use Violentmonkey instead.

    2. Anon said on February 9, 2024 at 7:58 pm
      Reply

      Privacy Badger is redundant with uBlock Origin

      1. 45 RPM said on February 11, 2024 at 10:34 am
        Reply

        Six items blocked by Privacy Badger on this very page that are not blocked by uBlock Origin.

      2. Anonymous said on February 11, 2024 at 2:36 pm
        Reply

        Incorrect. Blocking extensions work in parallel. I see that PB is blocking only one more script – Text to Speech feature.

  16. John G. said on February 9, 2024 at 7:59 am
    Reply

    Next step: Microsoft and its CEO, Mr. Nadella aka Nutella.

    1. AISpyware said on February 9, 2024 at 2:47 pm
      Reply

      Microsoft has become a shady advertising corporation under Nadella’s leadership. He must go now. Software fails to satisfy users’ actual demands, and there is no proper testing being done. These days, a lot of Microsoft’s fantastic software is undermined by bloated, sloppy web technology and advertisements. These greedy companies will not stop hounding you to rent their product, even after you have already paid for their product.

    2. Herman Cost said on February 9, 2024 at 2:25 pm
      Reply

      You must not pay much attention to Microsoft’s stock price which continues it’s extraordinary long term growth and has been hitting new highs on a daily basis. The only thing that is going to happen to Mr. Nadella is a further increase to his already bloated compensation package.

      1. John G. said on February 10, 2024 at 7:52 am
        Reply

        The excess of money with no quality at all is the modern sin of the current democracy and false freedom we suffer in a daily basis. Like a song of Taylor Swift. ;/

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