Apr
08
2020
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Mozilla names long-time chairwoman Mitchell Baker as CEO

Mozilla Corporation announced today that it has chosen long-time chairwoman Mitchell Baker to be CEO, replacing Chris Beard, who announced last August he would be stepping down at the end of the year.

Baker represents a logical choice to lead the company. At a time of great turmoil in the world at large, she brings the stability of someone who has been with Mozilla Corporation since 2003. Writing in a company blog post, she certainly recognized the challenges ahead, navigating the current economic uncertainty and the competitive challenges the company faces with its flagship Firefox browser.

“It’s a time of challenge on many levels, there’s no question about that. Mozilla’s flagship product remains excellent, but the competition is stiff. The increasing vertical integration of internet experience remains a deep challenge. It’s also a time of need, and of opportunity. Increasingly, numbers of people recognize that the internet needs attention,” Baker wrote.

Baker has been acting as interim CEO since December when Beard officially left the company. In a blog post from the board announcing Baker’s official new title, they certainly recognized that it would take someone with her unique combination of skills and experience to guide the company through this next phase.

“Mitchell’s deep understanding of Mozilla’s existing businesses gives her the ability to provide direction and support to drive this important work forward,” they wrote. Adding, “And her leadership style grounded in openness and honesty is helping the organization navigate through the uncertainty that COVID-19 has created for Mozillians at work and at home.”

Mozilla Corporation was founded in 1998 and is best known for its flagship, open-source Firefox browser. The company faces stiff competition in the browser market from Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Jan
02
2019
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Mozilla promises a faster, prettier Thunderbird with better Gmail support

Thunderbird, Mozilla’s desktop email client, doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of mindshare of the organization’s Firefox browser, yet even in this age of web-based email services, it still has a sizable user community. For 2019, those users can look forward to a faster and more beautiful application, Thunderbird community manager Ryan Sipes announced today.

Only a few years ago, Mozilla’s relationship with Thunderbird looked rather rocky. Back in 2015, the organization decided to decouple Thunderbird’s technical infrastructure from Firefox’s and look for other organizations that would like to invest in it. In the end, though, Mozilla decided to keep Thunderbird in-house and not move it to another organization and continue to support the project. That gave Thunderbird some much-needed stability and, as Sipes announced today, there are now eight full-time staffers who work on the project, with plans for hiring six more soon.

For 2019, the expanded team promises to make the application run faster and address performance issues — and to rewrite some parts of the client in an effort to build a multi-process version that can make better use of modern processors (it’s worth noting that Firefox went through a similar rewrite).

At the same time, Thunderbird will also get a few user interface updates, better notifications and, maybe even more importantly, better Gmail support. The current Gmail setup procedure isn’t actually all that complicated, but once you do have Thunderbird set up to work with your Gmail account, you don’t get access to many of Gmail’s proprietary features. To work around some of this, the Thunderbird team will soon offer better label support, for example.

Mar
02
2016
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Mozilla tests the waters for Firefox OS IoT apps, including a Samantha-style virtual assistant

firefox_os_logo_large Back in December, Mozilla called it a day with its failed Firefox OS for mobile business, and said it would pivot the technology into a new Internet of Things strategy. Amid a good dose of skepticism that a platform (and organization) that failed in one area can succeed in another that is arguably even more complex, Mozilla has laid out the first projects in its IoT shortlist. Get ready for… Read More

Nov
30
2015
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Mozilla Wants To Split Off Its Thunderbird Email/Chat Client, Says Mitchell Baker Memo

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 23.35.50 The Mozilla Foundation looks like it’s about to take another step in its bid to sharpen its focus on development around its Firefox browser. Mozilla now wants to once and for all hive off support for Thunderbird, the free email, chat and news client it first developed in 2004 but effectively stopped directly updating in in 2012. The plans were revealed in a company-wide memo penned… Read More

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