Mozilla's Office getting bigger in Portland

Mozilla Corp., the business arm of the Mozilla Foundation and maker of the web browser Firefox, has had a presence in Portland for years.

That presence is about to get larger: Mozilla is both expanding and planning to raise its profile this spring with a big marketing push it has dubbed a “city takeover.”

                                                                                                                                           Photo Credit:   Oregon Live

                                                                                                                                          Photo Credit: Oregon Live

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company recently doubled the size of its Pearl office to 14,000 square feet and has room for 80 employees. The company has nine open positions listed on its website, including cloud engineering operations, senior data scientist and engineering program management. Mozilla currently employs 49 in Portland plus another 23 remote employees in Oregon.

Like other tech outposts in Portland, Mozilla’s office started with a handful of remote employees in a coworking space.

“It just turned out that a lot of employees were here or wanted to move,” said Selena Deckelmann, senior director of engineering for Firefox runtime. It opened the Portland office in 2013.

The company has deep open source roots that match its mission to make the internet a force for social responsibility and good.

“I think there is a lot of alignment in Portland,” she said of the office’s ability to grow. “People come here and want to eat organic food and make conscious choices about their lifestyle, where they live and the people that are around them.”

The Portland office is home to a cross section of the company's work. People like Deckelmann work on the technical aspects of the browser plus folks in IT, marketing, and user experience. There are also some people working exclusively for the parent organization Mozilla Foundation.

“We spend a lot of time at the lunch counter telling each other what it is we are doing all day,” Deckelmann joked.

For her part, Deckelmann is responsible for aspects of the browser that users don’t see but result in fast performance and security.

“The browser is a tool for running untrusted code from the internet,” she said. “That is the trust people have in us. We do what we can to protect them from what is out there.”

The company's local profile could grow: Its local office was selected for a marketing experiment that will send Mozilla employees to events, in force, and host its own gatherings.

Here’s a sampling of what to expect:

  • Mozilla will be at Portland Design Week with a screen printing station and lessons about encryption.
  • The company will be at the Portland Night Markets sponsoring WiFi
  • It will host a self-defense course at its office with the Portland Police Bureau's WomenStrength program. The event will offer ways users can protect themselves online.
  • The company is working with Widmer Bros. Brewing to open source the flavor profile of a beer that will be served during an upcoming Pints for Portland event.

News Resource: Biz Journals