Job cuts hit Waze as Google consolidates its mapping efforts

Android Auto running split-screen with Waze in Mercedes.
(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Waze's Ads system will now be powered by Google Ads instead of its own.
  • This results in layoffs for roles involving sales, marketing, operations, and analytics at Waze.
  • Google Maps and Waze were brought under one roof in late 2022.

A recent email from Chris Phillips, who oversees Google's Geo unit, announced that the company is laying off members of the Waze team, reports CNBC.

In the email CNBC viewed by CNBC, Phillips further explains the reason for the layoffs at Waze, stating that the software giant will integrate Google ads in the navigation platform rather than relying on a separate ads system at Waze. The latter has worked separately since Google acquired it for $1.3 billion in 2013.

The move comes not long after Waze was brought into Google's Geo group, joining the teams responsible for Maps, Google Earth, and Street View.

"We have decided to transition Waze's ads monetization to be managed by the Global Business Organization (GBO), similar to Google Maps," Phillips wrote in the said email. "Unfortunately, this will result in a reduction of Waze Ads monetization-focused roles in sales, marketing, operations and analytics."

The move is to create "more scalable and optimized Waze Ads," which will now be powered by Google Ads. The email added that Google would inform advertisers and partners of the new developments on Wednesday. Additional plans will be discussed at the next Waze Town Hall on July 11.

Google confirmed the cuts with The Verge in a statement:

“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," a spokesperson told The Verge. "As part of this update, we’ve reduced those roles focused on Waze Ads monetization and are providing employees with mobility resources and severance options in accordance with local requirements.”

As an alternative to Google Maps, the Waze platform serves nearly 150 million monthly users through the Waze app for iOS and Android devices. Waze currently has over 500 employees per internal documentation viewed by CNBC. However, the number of employees who will be affected by the layoffs was not confirmed.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.