Like many other businesses this year, Google-owned Waze is suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to declining ad revenues, Waze is laying off a portion of its staff and closing some offices.
Out of the company’s 555 employees, The Verge reports that 30 will be let go. Along with letting go of some of its staff, Waze is also shutting down some offices in Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions in an effort to “refocus” on other markets such as the US, UK, Mexico, Canada, and others. The closed offices include Malaysia, Singapore, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. The employees let go will be able to search for opportunities within Google. They’ll also retain severance and bonuses through early 2021.
In his email, Waze’s CEO explains that these actions are due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of Waze’s revenue comes from advertising and, as a result of shelter-in-place orders around the world, fewer people are on the roads. In fact, Waze reported a 60% drop in miles driven back in March. Apparently, those numbers dropped even lower when things hit their worst, but in the time since, driving levels have returned to pre-COVID levels.
Letting Wazers go is an extremely painful process for all of us. I want to make it clear that these reductions are being made due to the constraints created by the pandemic and to support investments in our focus areas, and not because of anyone’s actions or performance.
More on Waze:
- You can now send directions on Waze from your computer to your smartphone
- Waze users can now set Batman, voiced by Kevin Conroy, as their navigation voice
- Waze will help you pay for gas from your phone at select stations
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