AOL Cuts Remaining Mozilla Hackers

Tuesday July 15th, 2003

It has been learned through public and private sources that AOL has cut or will cut the remaining team working on Mozilla in a mass firing and are dismantling what was left of Netscape (they've even pulled the logos off the buildings). Some will remain working on Mozilla during the transition, and will move to other jobs within AOL.

The news isn't all doom and gloom, folks. I've been informed that the number of volunteer Mozilla hackers started eclipsing the number of Netscape hackers last month, and that a number of folks have already been snatched up by other organizations.

Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE: Looks like folks are starting to post to

UPDATE: I was told to stress that Mozilla will continue, and that many of the folks let go today will continue to devote time and energy to it. I'd like to wish all the best of luck, and I'd like to thank everyone for the amazing contributions that they have made over the past five years.

UPDATE #3: Some changes made to the main text above.

#47 My thoughts

by vfwlkr

Tuesday July 15th, 2003 6:55 PM

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First of all, I feel sorry for the devs who got laid off for no fault of theirs. Its never easy. My thoughts go out to them. Surely, they'll land excellent jobs at other places, but such times are hard emotionally.

Second, here's what i think of the whole situation: - The cuts were planned from day one. It was a verbal part of the AOL-Microsoft settlement. - Microsoft WAS aware of the rising status of gecko based browsers, and acted quickly to kill it, not by competing, but by using its hordes of cash. - AOL has had a change of guard, with TW executives returning to the helm. They realise what a fool they made of themselves by getting acquired for loads of worthless AOL stock. They hate the online division, and have pretty much nothing to do with software. - For the AOL old guard, netscape served its purpose by getting microsoft to pay $750m in cash. They have absolutely no interest in competing against microsoft or anyone else in software development. - A verbal part of the settlement was killing netscape compeletely, and orphaning mozilla. Given the above, no wonder Parsons agreed. It was delayed just so microsoft could escape the prying eyes of antitrust lawyers.

Where does mozilla go from here: - They have $2m promised - They have patrons who can raise $10K for mozdev - They have volunteer hackers

But is this enough to keep churning out excellent products? I dont know. I think a lot will depend on if SUN or IBM are interested in funding the new mozilla foundation. Maybe Lindows CEO Robertson will be interested too...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.