September 25, 2018

Desperate to support my family, I applied for the position of Firefox Mobile Performance Manager. I was monitoring Mozilla's job postings constantly as I believed Mozilla would be supportive of my return. I left Mozilla on good terms (so I believed). I applied the moment a Mozilla manager posted the position on their website.

And within minutes I was rejected. I've applied for multiple positions at Mozilla, all with the same result. If anyone doubts my qualifications, they may review my resume and decide for themselves.

In an effort to understand why this keeps happening, I reached out to Chris Beard, the CEO of Mozilla with whom I've worked, for years. As expected, I received a thoughtful reply; however, I did not expect to read that I was being rejected because I was overqualified. I'm 46 years old. As far as I know, I'm a protected class, and rejecting my application because I have too much experience is illegal. His statement that there are other candidates who have already been accepted could not possibly be true because, as far as I can tell, I applied the moment the job opening was posted. It's simply not possible for Mozilla to have interviewed *anyone* for the position, if it had just been posted.

Don't take my word for it. Judge for yourself by reading his message. **************************************************************************************** * +---------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ * | Mar 30, 2018, 10:15 AM | * | | * | FROM: Chris Beard | * | TO: Damon Sicore | * | | * | Apologies for the delay in responding, it's been a busy couple of days. | * | | * | I wanted to address the roles you mentioned. As CEO, I'm not involved in our | * | recruiting process at that level. But I did look into this, and the roles | * | you applied to seem to be below your experience level and already have | * | strong candidates that we're moving forward with. I’m sure you’re looking | * | at senior-level roles in other companies but unfortunately I don’t see | * | anything here right now or in the near term that would be a better fit. | * | | * | Separate from my role at Mozilla, I know you’re looking for the right job | * | and I’d like to personally help if I can. Have you ever talked to a | * | career coach? I have another friend who worked with one through a | * | challenging career transition and they helped them land in the right role. | * | If you think that would be useful, I would be happy to call in some | * | favours and set you up with someone who can help (i.e. at no cost to you). | * | | * | Please let me know and I'll make the connection. | * | | * | Cheers, | * | chris | * +---------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ ****************************************************************************************

I do not blame Chris. He's a good person. I know this. I've worked with him, and I've witnessed his struggles throughout my seven year tenure at Mozilla. He does what he can.

The real issue here is that the system we all work in is fundamentally flawed. There is no incentive to change this behavior. There are only dis-incentives. We try to punish corporations after the fact, and corporations have all the power they need to avoid changing their behavior. Chris doesn't have to change. So, he won't.

All of the Mozilla executives must also maintain a corporate career. Each of them must maintain a stellar corporate image or face being ostracized by the venture capitalists who place executives within lucrative startups. And make no mistake, it's the venture capitalists who pick the executives to run the startups they invest in.

They will to do what is best for them. Not Mozilla. Not the Web. Not people. That means they pick and insert influential employees from their own contacts. It's all about who you know. You can't get a lucrative position in Silicon Valley by just applying on a website. You have to develop relationships with the venture capitalists who are pouring money into the industry. Executives already in place lie, cheat, and steal to maintain their jobs and to move into a money-making startup. I've witnessed this directly as Vice President of Engineering at Mozilla. Gary Kovacs, the former CEO of Mozilla, is an excellent example. Once I understood what Gary was doing at Mozilla, I couldn't live with myself playing a role which was obviously hurting the people I represented and maintained responsibility for as a corporate executive (all of the engineering efforts at Mozilla, well over 600 people when I left).

The reality is Chris can't change things. Replacing Chris wouldn't matter. In fact, he'd almost certainly be replaced by someone with less-humane values and more-entrenched corporate religion.

I've tried to fix this by privately reaching out to as many people as I could. I even travelled to the Mozilla All-Hands in San Francisco to speak to Mozilla employees in person. I met with Chris Beard to explain what's happening and try to understand why he responded this way.

Clearly my efforts failed. Now, I believe I must, out of responsibility, speak up. I have a family to support. I can't let them starve or go without housing, healthcare or a university-level education, and that's exactly what is happening right now.