Google’s Waze reportedly to cut 5% of workers, close offices amid COVID woes

The Verge reports that some 30 people to lose jobs at Israeli-founded navigation app; offices in Asia Pacific and Latin America to shut down as work-from-home trend reduces use

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

A screen capture from a Waze tutorial video (photo credit: Waze/YouTube)
A screen capture from a Waze tutorial video (photo credit: Waze/YouTube)

Waze, the Israel founded navigation app now owned by Google, will lay off 5 percent of its global workforce, or some 30 people out of 555 employees, The Verge reported.

Waze will also close some of its offices in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, as it refocuses its business on certain markets, the report said.

Waze said the layoffs were due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent cities into lockdown and cut travel on roads as people work from home and use the navigation app less. This leads to lower advertising revenue for the firm, The Verge said.

“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,” CEO Noam Bardin wrote in a note to staff.

Most of the people laid off are from the company’s sales, marketing and partnership divisions, the report said. The firm is closing offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina, as it refocuses on areas where business continues to grow, including the US, the UK, France, Brazil, and Mexico.

The Ra’anana, Israel-based Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported $1.1 billion.


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