Google To Combine Maps And Waze Teams

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Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., plans to merge its teams working on Maps products and the mapping service Waze with effect from December 9, reports said.

The decision to consolidate processes comes as the search giant is facing pressure to streamline operations and cut costs. The restructuring is expected to reduce overlapping work across the Waze and Maps products.

Beginning on Friday, Waze's more than 500 employees will be merged with Google's Geo organization, which oversees Google Maps, Google Earth, and Street View products.

Following a transition period, Waze CEO Neha Parikh will exit her role. Google said it plans to maintain Waze as a stand-alone service and there are no plans to conduct any layoffs as part of the reorganization.

A spokeswoman reportedly said, "By bringing the Waze team into Geo's portfolio of real-world mapping products, the teams will benefit from further increased technical collaboration."

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai earlier had said that the company would streamline processes and consolidate investments where they overlap.

Waze, formerly FreeMap Israel, provides satellite navigation software on smartphones and other computers that support the Global Positioning System. It has about 151 million monthly active users worldwide.

Waze is a more driver-focused app, while Google Maps is much more comprehensive and provides navigation for anyone.

Waze's former CEO Noam Bardin reportedly said earlier that the company struggled to grow within Google and that it could have grown faster and more efficiently if it was independent.

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