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HomeTech & GadgetsGoogle’s cost-cutters come for Waze, will lose status as independent company

Google’s cost-cutters come for Waze, will lose status as independent company

The Waze user icons. We feel for ya, little blue Waze icon above the “W.
Enlarge / The Waze consumer icons. We really feel for ya, little blue Waze icon above the “W.


Is Waze in bother at Google? The Wall Street Journal broke the information final night time that Google is merging the 500-person Waze crew into Google’s “Geo” division, aka Google Maps. Waze’s present CEO, Neha Parikh—who has solely been on the helm since 2021 after the long-term CEO, Noam Bardin, stop Google—will step down after a transition interval. Below Maps, Waze will not have a CEO.

The Waze merger comes as a part of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s cost-cutting mission over the previous few months, which has to this point killed Google Stadia, Project Loon, half of Area 120, and the Pixel laptop division and may even be coming for the (poorly monetized) Google Assistant. The report says that “Google expects the restructuring to scale back overlapping mapmaking work throughout the Waze and Maps merchandise.”

Waze is a mapping utility that has miles of overlap with Google Maps. You may view a world map, navigate locations, search for factors of curiosity, and see site visitors knowledge. Waze’s defining function is crowdsourced reporting of highway hazards—issues like site visitors, velocity traps, development—that may immediately present up for different Waze customers. Google purchased Waze in 2013, and whereas it shortly moved to integrate traffic reports, it would not present all of the Waze studies and would not push customers to report highway hazards the best way Waze does.

Google PR gave The Wall Avenue Journal an “every little thing is ok” assertion, saying, “Google stays deeply dedicated to Waze’s distinctive model, its beloved app and its thriving neighborhood of volunteers and customers.” The report additionally says that “Google mentioned it deliberate to take care of Waze as a stand-alone service.” It is exhausting to take that too significantly provided that Google mentioned Stadia “is not shutting down” two months earlier than asserting Stadia would be shut down.

Below the axiom of “actions converse louder than phrases,” it is exhausting to see this as transfer for Waze. This can be a main reorganization, and it comes on the heels of Waze’s 12-year CEO, Bardin, quitting Google final 12 months. The report says Google desires to chop down on duplicate work, so why would you cease simply on the mapping knowledge? With that line of logic, why does a separate Waze app exist in any respect? Google will not be publicly asking that query but, but it surely’s exhausting to assume it will not sooner or later.

Waze’s trajectory at Google sounds rather a lot like Nest. Google purchased Nest, and after a couple of years of independent operation inside Google, the long-term, pre-acquisition CEO, Tony Fadell, left the company. With the corporate’s inside protector gone, two years later, Nest lost its independence and merged with Google {Hardware}. When you’re a part of Google, all the “why is that this completely different?” questions start to arise, and the corporate is slowly whittled down.

From a product standpoint, it has by no means actually been clear why Waze and Google Maps have been separate for thus lengthy. It looks like you possibly can simply combine the lacking report performance and shut down Waze with out lacking an excessive amount of. When Bardin stop Google, he wrote a scathing exit post about life on the company juggernaut, and one of many many juicy tidbits revealed is that the separation of Waze and Maps stems from a “promise” between Bardin and the earlier Google CEO, Larry Web page. Neither Bardin nor Web page is at Google anymore, and now neither is Waze’s autonomy.

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