Google is moving over 500 employees working on the company’s Waze navigation app to Google’s larger team working on Maps, Google Earth, and Google Street View. According to a Google spokesperson speaking with the Wall Street Journal, the consolidation will begin on Friday and Waze isn’t going away.
“Google remains deeply committed to Waze’s unique brand, its beloved app and its thriving community of volunteers and users,” the Google spokesperson said in a statement. Waze currently has 151 million monthly active users, while Google Maps has over a billion monthly active users.
The internal reorganization aims to streamline Google’s Geo organization and eliminate redundant projects across the Maps and Waze teams. If Google isn’t planning any layoffs, Waze CEO Neha Parikh be exiting her role after a transition period.
If Google did acquire Waze back in 2013, the company is notorious for building multiple versions of the same products, with duplicates eventually ending up in the Google graveyard. That was the case for Google’s now deprecated Inbox email client, and we’ve lost count of the number of messaging apps Google built over the years.
Compared to Google Maps, Waze remains a car navigation app first and foremost, and its crowdsourced traffic alerts remain pretty unique. However, Google Maps and Apple Maps are also pretty solid options for car navigation, and they benefit greatly from being preinstalled on mobile devices.