Google combines Maps and Waze teams as pressures mount to cut costs

Google plans to combine the teams working on its Maps product and on Waze, a mapping service that Google acquired in 2013. The merger comes as the search engine giant feels the pressure to cut costs and consolidate operations, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Waze’s team of 500 employees will fall under Google’s Geo organization, which oversees Maps, Earth and Street View, starting Friday. Neha Parikh, Waze’s current CEO, will leave her role.

Google told WSJ it plans to keep Waze as a standalone service — Waze is known for its crowdsourcing of en route information like locations of speed cameras, cop cars and roadkill.

Google also said it didn’t expect any layoffs as part of the reorganization.¬†However, layoffs abound in the tech world, whether you’re a startup or an Amazon. And they often hit the hardest where there are redundancies between teams. Indeed, Google said it expects the restructuring of the different mapping services to reduce overlap in mapmaking.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said he hopes to make Google 20% more productive by running “on fewer resources.” Speaking at Code Conference in September, the executive said the company had become slower due to overhiring and seemed to hint that merging teams that work on overlapping products would help the company stay on top.