Google cuts jobs at Waze as it continues to merge mapping products

Google has been slowly integrating Waze into its own mapping products.

Google cuts jobs at Waze as it continues to merge mapping products

Google Maps Go tab.


Google has cut jobs at Waze, its mapping service, as it merges with its own map products.

Chris Phillips, the head of Google's Geo division, wrote an email Tuesday to all employees to announce that Waze will be incorporating Google ads instead of using a separate advertising system. According to an email viewed by CNBC, this move will lead to layoffs.

Phillips wrote: "We've decided to move Waze Ads monetization under the Global Business Organization, similar to Google Maps." This will, unfortunately, result in the reduction of Waze Ads-focused roles within sales, marketing and operations.

Phillips, in his letter, wrote that the company aims to "create an optimized and more scalable Waze Ads," adding that "we will wind down the current Waze Ads while we focus on creating new Waze Ads powered with Google Ads."

Phillips told employees his team would answer any questions and discuss the next steps in "our next Waze Town Hall", which will be held on July 11, and that they would also notify advertisers and partners.

The email did not specify how many jobs were to be cut. CNBC viewed internal documents that show the Waze unit employs more than 500 people. Google purchased Waze in 2013 for $1.3 billion.

After a year in which revenue growth had dramatically slowed, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced that it would be laying off 12,000 workers, or 6%, of its workforce. The company also downsized some projects and eliminated others. It said that it was focusing on being more efficient.

Google has been consolidating Waze into its own Geo division, which is responsible for maps, since December. In the wake of this shake-up, Google announced that former CEO Neha Parikh will be stepping down.

Waze uses crowdsourcing to find the fastest route between two locations, using the latest traffic data. Waze is used by approximately 140 million people.

Phillips wrote: "Decisions such as these are extremely difficult." "Each of these Wazers has contributed to Waze’s success and culture. I would like to express my thanks and respect for their achievements."

In a press release, a Google spokesperson confirmed Phillips' email and the details. The company said it "remains committed to growing Waze’s unique brand, beloved app and thriving community" of users and volunteers.

Watch out for any weakness in Google's search engine, as it could put its long-term growth into doubt