Le journal du Libre

Pour "préparer son avenir", Mozilla licencie 70 collaborateurs

jeudi 16 janvier 2020

Dans une déclaration - relativement floue - postée sur son blog, la Fondation Mozilla confirme le licenciement de plusieurs dizaines de salariés dans le monde. La restructuration ne serait d’ailleurs pas terminée. Que s’est-il passé ?

Mozilla licencie. "Nous faisons un investissement important pour financer l’innovation. Afin de faire ceci de façon responsable, nous avons dû faire certains choix difficiles qui ont amené à l’élimination de rôles à Mozilla que nous avons annoncée aujourd’hui en interne", peut-on lire sur le blog francophone de Mozilla. La nouvelle, communiquée en interne, est la suivante : sur les 1.000 employés que la Fondation compte dans le monde, 70 ont été sacrifiés.

Un mémo interne aux collaborateurs de Mozilla

Le site Techcrunch a pu se procurer le mémo interne de Mozilla, que nous reproduisons au bas de cette page.

On y apprend ceci, de la plume de la CEO Mitchell Baker : "Nous avons mis en place un plan pour générer des revenus via la souscription à des produits et services (Ndlr : voir notre article du 12 juin 2019), dont nous attendions beaucoup. Peut-être un peu trop au regard des revenus générés. Nous avons sous-estimé le temps qu’il faudrait pour développer ce nouveau modèle et la création de produits rentables. Nous devons donc adopter une approche plus prudente dans nos prévisions pour 2020. Cela commence par accepter de vivre avec ses moyens et de ne pas dépenser davantage que ce que nous gagnons, dans un futur proche."

Un accompagnement pour les salariés licenciés

70 salariés se retrouvent sans emploi, mais la Fondation Mozilla tient à souligner qu’elle attribue ce qu’elle nomme un "generous exit package" (prime de licenciement généreuse), ainsi que des services d’outplacement pour que ses troupes retrouvent rapidement un emploi stable. La solidarité s’organise, notamment sur les réseaux sociaux.

Le mémo interne indique que le plan de restructuration n’est peut-être pas encore terminé, puisqu’un audit est actuellement réalisé, notamment en France, où Mozilla dispose d’un important QG, et à Londres.

La part de marché de Mozilla : 8,4%

Mozilla consacre aujourd’hui 43 millions de dollars (soit 38,7 millions €) dans la recherche et le développement de nouveaux produits. Plus de 90% de ses revenus sont générés par la recherche sur internet dans le navigateur, principalement avec Google. Sa part de marché est aujourd’hui estimée à 8,4% sur les ordinateurs, mais reste anecdotique sur le mobile, ce qui reste une menace importante pour son avenir.

Le mémo (en anglais)

Nous reproduisons ci-dessous le mémo interne envoyé par la CEO de Mozilla à ses collaborateurs.

Hi all,

I have some difficult news to share. With the support of the entire Steering Committee and our Board, we have made an extremely tough decision : over the course of today, we plan to eliminate about 70 roles from across MoCo. This number may be slightly larger as we are still in a consultation process in the UK and France, as the law requires, on the exact roles that may be eliminated there. We are doing this with the utmost respect for each and every person who is impacted and will go to great lengths to take care of them by providing generous exit packages and outplacement support. Most will not join us in Berlin. I will send another note when we have been able to talk to the affected people wherever possible, so that you will know when the notifications/outreach are complete.

This news likely comes as a shock and I am sorry that we could not have been more transparent with you along the way. This is never my desire. Reducing our headcount was something the Steering Committee considered as part of our 2020 planning and budgeting exercise only after all other avenues were explored. The final decision was made just before the holiday break with the work to finalize the exact set of roles affected continuing into early January (there are exceptions in the UK and France where we are consulting on decisions.) I made the decision not to communicate about this until we had a near-final list of roles and individuals affected.

Even though I expect it will be difficult to digest right now, I would like to share more about what led to this decision. Perhaps you can come back to it later, if that’s easier.

You may recall that we expected to be earning revenue in 2019 and 2020 from new subscription products as well as higher revenue from sources outside of search. This did not happen. Our 2019 plan underestimated how long it would take to build and ship new, revenue-generating products. Given that, and all we learned in 2019 about the pace of innovation, we decided to take a more conservative approach to projecting our revenue for 2020. We also agreed to a principle of living within our means, of not spending more than we earn for the foreseeable future.

This approach is prudent certainly, but challenging practically. In our case, it required difficult decisions with painful results. Regular annual pay increases, bonuses and other costs which increase from year-to-year as well as a continuing need to maintain a separate, substantial innovation fund, meant that we had to look for considerable savings across Mozilla as part of our 2020 planning and budgeting process. This process ultimately led us to the decision to reduce our workforce.

At this point, you might ask if we considered foregoing the separate innovation fund, continuing as we did in 2019. The answer is yes but we ultimately decided we could not, in good faith, adopt this. Mozilla’s future depends on us excelling at our current work and developing new offerings to expand our impact. And creating the new products we need to change the future requires us to do things differently, including allocating funds, $43M to be specific, for this purpose. We will discuss our plans for making innovation robust and successful in increasing detail as we head into, and then again at, the All Hands, rather than trying to do so here.

As we look to the future, we know we must take bold steps to evolve and ensure the strength and longevity of our mission. Mozilla has a strong line of sight to future revenue generation, but we are taking a more conservative approach to our finances. This will enable us to pivot as needed to respond to market threats to internet health, and champion user privacy and agency.

I ask that we all do what we can to support each other through this difficult period.