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Stefanie Olsen

Staff Writer, CNET

Google is gobbling up talent from the Mozilla Foundation, creators of the insurgent open-source Web browser Firefox; and the hires may feed into rumors that the search giant is quietly building an Internet Explorer-killer. Mozilla talent Darin Fisher is the most recent addition to Google’s payroll, following his cohort Ben Goodger, according to Fisher’s blog. Goodger had worked full-time as Mozilla’s lead Firefox programmer, whereas Fisher contributed to its backend infrastructure while also working for IBM. Both say they will continue to work with Mozilla, which has about 20 core staff and 60 additional helping hands.

For its part, the nonprofit downplayed any significance. “This is not unusual in the world of the Mozilla project,” according to a blog posting from Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s chief lizard wrangler. “A number of people have moved from one employer to another within the Mozilla project. IBM, Novell, Sun, Red Hat, Oracle and now Google have employees contributing to the Mozilla project.”