In a surprising move earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the decision to lay off approximately 12,000 employees, catching the tech world off guard. Known for its employee perks, the company took this step to reduce costs. Now, Google has revealed plans to lay off employees in its Waze mapping app as part of the integration process with Google Maps products. Waze, a popular app that provides users with driving routes and real-time traffic information, boasts around 140 million users. According to Reuters, Google is “consolidating” Waze with its Geo unit, which oversees Google Maps. The acquisition of Waze took place in June 2013 for a deal worth $1.1 billion.
Chris Philips, head of Google’s Geo unit, informed employees of the layoff decision through an email. The exact number of employees affected has not been disclosed.
Regarding the recent layoffs, Google issued a statement to Reuters stating, “In order to create a better, more seamless long-term experience for Waze advertisers, we’ve begun transitioning Waze’s existing advertising system to Google Ads technology. As part of this update, we’ve reduced those roles focused on Waze Ads monetisation.”
Earlier this year, Sundar Pichai had taken “full responsibility” for the decision to lay off 12,000 employees, as stated in an email. He expressed his regret, acknowledging the impact on talented individuals the company had worked hard to hire. Pichai assured that Google would fully support the affected employees during this challenging transition. In the US, impacted employees would receive full salary during the notice period, a severance package starting at 16 weeks’ salary with additional weeks based on their tenure, and other contractual benefits. Compensation for employees outside the US would be in accordance with their respective country’s laws.
However, several months later, Google employees emailed Sundar Pichai, demanding better handling of the layoffs and emphasizing the importance of honoring pre-approved time off for employees.