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In a restructuring move, Google combines Waze and Maps team


 Google combines Waze and Maps

Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to combine the team working on Waze, the mapping service, with the group overseeing the company’s Maps product, as the tech giant faces pressure to streamline operations and reduce costs.

According to a company spokesperson, beginning on Friday, Google plans to merge Waze’s over 500 employees with the firm’s Geo subdivision, which oversees the Maps, Earth, and Street View products.

Waze CEO Neha Parikh will exit her role following a transition period, the spokesperson announced. Google said it planned to maintain Waze as a standalone service and had no plans to conduct any layoffs as part of the reorganization.

Google expects the restructuring to reduce overlapping mapmaking work across the Waze and Maps products, the firm announced.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, has sought out areas to improve efficiency in a slowdown in advertising growth this year. In September 2022, Pichai said he wanted Google to become 20% more productive and indicated the firm could merge teams working on overlapping products.

Google acquired Waze in 2013 for $1.1 billion, the tech giant’s fourth-largest deal at the time. THe acquisition drew scrutiny from regulators including the Federal Trade Commission, which decided not to challenge the deal.

Waze has nearly 151 million monthly active users of its crowdsourced mapping service, which is known for maintaining detailed traffic data. The mapping service has also worked to build an advertising business in recent years.

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