Report: Google Merging Maps and Waze Teams to Cut Costs

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Google is reportedly merging two of its mapping teams under pressure to reduce costs.

The tech giant will combine the team overseeing its mapping service Waze with workers handling its Maps feature, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Dec. 8).

The move comes near the end of a year that has seen other Big Tech companies — Amazon and Meta among them — take measures to lower expenses.

In Google’s case, the WSJ said the company will merge the more than 500 people working on Waze with Geo, the organization that handles Maps, Google Earth, and Street View. While no layoffs are planned, Waze CEO Neha Parikh will step down after a transition period, a Google spokesperson told the news outlet.

Last month, we reported that investor TCI Fund Management called on Google parent Alphabet to shrink its headcount, reduce compensation and take other measures to lower costs.

In a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai posted on TCI’s website, Managing Director Christopher Hohn said the company needs to tighten its belt in a way that it didn’t during the last five years when Alphabet’s revenue climbed 23% a year.

“However, cost discipline is now required as revenue growth is slowing,” Hohn wrote. “Cost growth above revenue growth is a sign of poor financial discipline.”

As PYMNTS reported in October, investors were already on edge after Google reported that its third-quarter sales had plummeted from 43% the previous year to 4%.

Google had previously told workers at its startup incubator Area 120 that they would need to find new positions within the company and had announced a two-week hiring pause in July. The company has also said it would slow the pace of hiring for the remainder of 2022.

Other Big Tech firms have taken more drastic actions this year. Meta announced last month it was cutting 11,000 jobs due to a downturn in eCommerce.

And Amazon has said its job cuts — the largest in its history — will likely extend into 2023. Last week, reports emerged that the company had begun rescinding job offers in its retail division, an expansion of its cutbacks, which had mostly centered around its Devices organization.