Waze To Lay Off Five Percent Of Its Global Workforce As It Rethinks Priorities
Google-owned navigation and mapping service, Waze plans to lay off five percent of its global workforce. This translates to about 30 people out of its 555 total employees. The move was disclosed by the company’s CEO Noam Bardin in an email to employees.
The CEO said the company would ‘rethink priorities’, and Bardin adds; “[We] decided to focus our resources on product improvements for our users, accelerate our investments in technical infrastructure, and refocus our sales and marketing efforts on a small number of high-value countries.”
Waze also plans to close several of its offices in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions. It says this is to help it refocus its business on certain markets.
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For Waze, like many other companies, the coronavirus pandemic is to blame. Empty roadways, culminating from a lack of movement as a result of preventive shelter in place orders have most people working from their houses. This means fewer people are using Waze for their daily navigation needs. This also translates into less advertising revenue for the company, thus forcing it to make cuts.
According to Waze customers drove 60 percent fewer miles in March 2020 at the beginning of the lockdowns compared to February 2020. The biggest drop recorded was in Italy, at 90 percent. The US also saw about a 60 percent drop in mileage.
Of course, the figures got worse as the lockdowns continued. Waze says that at one point, global weekly driven kilometers dropped by 70 percent.
The company however says it is beginning to see a recovery in countries where restrictions have been lifted. Globally the company says it’s back to pre-COVID driving levels as more people are going out and driving to work.
To soften the impact on the affected employees, Waze says it will provide them with a cushion, which includes severance, bonuses, and health insurance, into early 2021.
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