- By Grant Gross -
A Netscape spokeswoman has confirmed that the company has laid off the Mozilla project manager, but claims the layoff won't affect Netscape's commitment to the Open Source browser project.
Last Tuesday, MozillaQuest.com reported that Netscape had laid off Mitchell Baker, the chief lizard wrangler, and possibly other contributors to the Mozilla project.
Netscape spokeswoman Catherine H. Corre responded to a couple of NewsForge emails by saying that Baker had been laid off as part of a "restructuring" late last month at Netscape parent company AOL during which 1,700 positions were eliminated. However, CNet's catty Rumor Mill column suggested Baker was fired by Netscape, not laid off.
The difference is probably small consolation to Baker, who continues to be listed as the Mozilla project's manager on the "Who We Are" page at Mozilla.org. An update to the original MozillaQuest story says Bug 96747 was changed from saying Baker had left Mozilla.org to saying Baker is gone from Netscape. Apparently not wanting to talk about being laid off, Baker, understandably, didn't return an email from NewsForge asking about her future at Mozilla.org.
Corre says no other Mozilla contributors were laid off from Netscape during the restructuring at AOL. "There were no other layoffs in the Mozilla group and no changes at Mozilla," she writes. "This lay-off was part of the overall restructuring that happened last month at Netscape-AOL ... and is not reflective of any sort of policy change at
Netscape with regard to Mozilla. Netscape remains fully supportive of the
current Mozilla organization, projects and philosophy."