Mozilla Foundation

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Coordinates: 37°23′17″N 122°04′58″W / 37.38792°N 122.08284°W / 37.38792; -122.08284

Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla logo
FormationJuly 15, 2003; 17 years ago (2003-07-15)
FounderMozilla Organization
Tax ID no.
Registration no.C2543436
OriginsMountain View, California
United States
Mitchell Baker
Executive director
Mark Surman
  • Mozilla Corporation
  • Beijing Mozilla Online Ltd MZLA Technologies Corporation
Revenue (2018[1])
$436 million
Staff (2019)
Volunteers (2019)

The Mozilla Foundation (stylized as moz://a) is an American non-profit organization that exists to support and collectively lead the open source Mozilla project. Founded in July 2003, the organization sets the policies that govern development, operates key infrastructure and controls Mozilla trademarks and copyrights. It owns a taxable subsidiary: the Mozilla Corporation, which employs many Mozilla developers and coordinates releases of the Mozilla Firefox web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird email client. The Mozilla Foundation was founded by the Netscape-affiliated Mozilla Organization. The organization is currently based in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, California, United States.

The Mozilla Foundation describes itself as "a non-profit organization that promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet."[2] The Mozilla Foundation is guided by the Mozilla Manifesto, which lists 10 principles which Mozilla believes "are critical for the Internet to continue to benefit the public good as well as commercial aspects of life."[3]


Entrance to the former Mountain View office which was home to both the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation until January 2021[4]
Former office next to the Googleplex shared by both the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation until July 2009

On February 23, 1998, Netscape created the Mozilla Organization to co-ordinate the development of the Mozilla Application Suite.[5][6] When AOL (Netscape's parent) drastically scaled back its involvement with Mozilla Organization, the Mozilla Foundation was launched on July 15, 2003, to ensure Mozilla could survive without Netscape. AOL assisted in the initial creation of the Mozilla Foundation, transferring hardware and intellectual property to the organization, employed a three-person team for the first three months of its existence to help with the transition, and donated $2 million to the Foundation over two years.[7]

Initially, the remit of the Mozilla Foundation grew to become much wider than that of, with the organization taking on many tasks that were traditionally left to Netscape and other vendors of Mozilla technology. As part of a wider move to target end-users, the foundation made deals with commercial companies to sell CDs containing Mozilla software and provide telephone support. In both cases, the group chose the same suppliers as Netscape for these services. The Mozilla Foundation also became more assertive over its intellectual property, with policies put in place for the use of Mozilla trademarks and logos. New projects such as marketing were also started.

With the formation of the Mozilla Corporation, the Mozilla Foundation delegated all their development and business-related activities to the new subsidiary. The Mozilla Foundation now focuses on its Webmaker initiative (which aims to raise the level of users' Web Literacy) as well as on governance and policy issues. The Mozilla Foundation owns the Mozilla trademarks and other intellectual property, which it licenses to the Mozilla Corporation. It also controls the Mozilla source code repository and decides who is allowed to check code in.


Mozilla Corporation

On August 3, 2005, the Mozilla Foundation announced the creation of Mozilla Corporation, described as "a taxable subsidiary that serves the non-profit, public benefit goals of its parent, the Mozilla Foundation, and that will be responsible for product development, marketing and distribution of Mozilla products."[8] It also handles relationships with businesses, many of which generate income. Unlike the Mozilla Foundation, the Mozilla Corporation is a tax-paying entity, which gives it much greater freedom in the revenue and business activities it can pursue. From 2004 to 2014, the majority of revenue came from a deal with Google, which was the default search engine in the Firefox web browser. In November 2014, Mozilla signed a five-year partnership with Yahoo,[9] making Yahoo Search the default search engine for Firefox in the US. Yandex Search is the default for Firefox in Russia and Baidu continues its role as the default in China.

In November 2017, Mozilla terminated its agreement with Yahoo two years earlier than planned. While numerous factors were attributed to the decision to terminate the agreement, including some mention that Mozilla saw declining revenues related to the switch, likely the impetus was related to the recent acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon and Oath. Per Mozilla Chief Business and Legal Officer Denelle Dixon, "We exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo! based on a number of factors including doing what's best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users. We believe there are opportunities to work with Oath and Verizon outside of search."[10] After the termination, Mozilla once again made Google the default search engine for Firefox in the US.

Mozilla China

Beijing Mozilla Online Ltd (Chinese: 北京谋智网络技术有限公司), a.k.a. Mozilla China, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Corporation.[11] Mozilla China is headquartered in Beijing.

MZLA Technologies Corporation

On January 28, 2020, the Mozilla Foundation announced that the Thunderbird project would henceforth be operating from a new wholly owned subsidiary, MZLA Technologies Corporation, in order to explore offering products and services that were not previously possible and to collect revenue through partnerships and non-charitable donations.[12]


The Mozilla Foundation is funded by donations and 2% of annual net revenues from the Mozilla Corporation, amounting to over US$8.3 million in 2016.[13]

Initial funding in 2003 came from AOL, which donated US$2 million, and from Mitch Kapor who donated US$300,000.[14] The group has tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code, though the Mozilla Corporation subsidiary is taxable.

In 2006, the Mozilla Foundation received US$66.8 million in revenues, of which US$61.5 million is attributed to "search royalties" from Google.[15]

From 2004 to 2014, the foundation had a deal with Google to make Google Search the default in the Firefox browser search bar and hence send it search referrals; a Firefox themed Google search site was also made the default home page of Firefox. The original contract expired in November 2006. However, Google renewed the contract until November 2008 and again through 2011.[16] On December 20, 2011, Mozilla announced that the contract was once again renewed for at least three years to November 2014, at three times the amount previously paid, or nearly US$300 million annually.[17][18] Approximately 90% of Mozilla's royalties revenue for 2014 was derived from this contract.[19]

In November 2014, Mozilla signed a five-year partnership (effective December 2014) with Yahoo!, making Yahoo! Search the default search engine for Firefox in North America. This partnership came with an annual price tag of US$375 million to be paid by Yahoo! or its acquirer in the event of an acquisition. There was also a clause stating that Mozilla reserved the right to terminate the deal early if it did not want to work with the acquirer, but the acquirer would still have to pay Mozilla the full sum per year until 2019.[20] The default search engine in Russia will be Yandex, and in China, Baidu.[9]

In November 2017, however, Mozilla announced[21] that it was switching back to Google as the default search engine. This represented an early termination of its Yahoo partnership.[22]


As of September 2020, the Mozilla Foundation board of directors has seven members:[23]

  • Mitchell Baker (Chair)
  • Brian Behlendorf
  • Mohamed Nanabhay
  • Navrina Singh
  • Helen Turvey
  • Nicole Wong
  • Wambui Kinya[24]

Mark Surman is the foundation's executive director.


In 2006, after a request from Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD for funding from corporate entities which make a profit through the use of OpenSSH in their packaged distributions, the Mozilla Foundation donated $10,000 to de Raadt and OpenBSD for OpenSSH development. The funds donated came from money earned through the income provided by Google. The Mozilla Foundation found that without OpenSSH, much of the work done by developers would be through insecure and unsafe methods, and gave the funds as a thank you.[25][26]

At the end of 2010, the Mozilla Foundation partnered with Knoxville Zoo in an effort to raise awareness about endangered red pandas. Two red panda (a.k.a. Firefox) cubs born at the Knoxville Zoo have officially become a part of the Mozilla community. The cubs are named Spark and Ember by online voters and Mozilla broadcast a 24-hour live video stream of the cubs for several months.[27][28][29][30]

See also

  • CZilla, localization and popularization of products in Czech Republic
  • List of Mozilla products


  1. ^ "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary: 2018 Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Mozilla Foundation.
  2. ^ "The Mozilla Foundation". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "The Mozilla Manifesto". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Mozilla moves out of Mountain View San Francisco Chronicle
  5. ^ "Netscape Announces, a Dedicated Team and Web Site Supporting Development of Free Client Source Code". February 23, 1998. Archived from the original on July 6, 1998.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Netscape Accelerates Communicator Evolution With First Release Of Next-Generation Communicator Source Code To Developer Community Via". Netscape. Archived from the original on November 5, 2002. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  7. ^ " Announces Launch of the Mozilla Foundation to Lead Open Source Browser Efforts". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Mozilla Foundation Reorganization". Mozilla. August 3, 2005.
  9. ^ a b "New Search Strategy for Firefox: Promoting Choice & Innovation". The Mozilla Blog.
  10. ^ "Mozilla Terminates Its Deal With Yahoo Early". Techcrunch. November 14, 2017.
  11. ^ 谋智网络是Mozilla Corporation在中国的全资子公司,我们是Mozilla大家庭中非常重要的一份子——火狐浏览器 | 职业机会
  12. ^ "Thunderbird's New Home". The Mozilla Thunderbird Blog. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
  13. ^ "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary: Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). State of Mozilla 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  14. ^ " announces launch of the Mozilla Foundation to lead open-source browser efforts". Mozilla Press Center. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  15. ^ "2006 Independent Auditor's Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Mozilla Extends Lucrative Deal With Google For 3 Years". August 28, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  17. ^ Swisher, Kara (December 22, 2011). "Google Will Pay Mozilla Almost $300M Per Year in Search Deal, Besting Microsoft and Yahoo". All Things Digital. Dow Jones. Retrieved January 18, 2012. The search giant will pay just under $300 million per year to be the default choice in Mozilla's Firefox browser
  18. ^ "Mozilla and Google Sign New Agreement for Default Search in Firefox". December 20, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  19. ^ Mozilla's 2014 Audited financial statement, page 21
  20. ^ "Mozilla terminates its deal with Yahoo and makes Google the default in Firefox again". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Firefox Features Google as Default Search Provider in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan". Mozilla Blog. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Google's back: It's Firefox's default search engine again, after Mozilla ends Yahoo deal". ZDNet. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  23. ^ "Mozilla Leadership". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  24. ^ Baker, Mitchell. "Expanding Mozilla's Boards". The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  25. ^ Peereboom, Marco (April 4, 2006). "Donations Update". OpenBSD Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Mozilla Foundation activities, week ending 2006/03/31". Frank Hecker. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "Meet the Newest (and Cutest) Mozillians". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  28. ^ "Firefox Live Blog with Knoxville Zoo". Mozilla Foundation. Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  29. ^ "@cubcaretaker on Twitter". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
  30. ^ "Firefox live". Mozilla Foundation. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2011.

Edited: 2021-06-18 18:30:46