Covid-19 Cutbacks

Recalculating Route: Waze says it will lay off 5% of its global workforce

In an email to employees, CEO Noam Bardin says the Google-owned company is rethinking its priorities amid the Covid-19 crisis

Hagar Ravet 11:5910.09.20
Google-owned mobile navigation app developer Waze is laying off five percent of its global personnel, according to a report on tech news site The Verge. The company employs 550 people around the world and 30 of them are set to be fired amid the closure of offices in several countries in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. The decision was announced in an email sent to Waze employees from CEO Noam Bardin.


Waze linked the layoffs to the Covid-19 pandemic, which initially sent millions of people around the world into lockdown and later shifted large portions of the global labor force to work from home. The result was a decrease in users of its application, which in turn led to reduced ad exposure and lower revenues for the company. Most of those who will be laid off currently work in Waze’s sales, marketing, and partnerships divisions.


Waze CEO Noam Bardin. Photo: Amit Shaal Waze CEO Noam Bardin. Photo: Amit Shaal
In his e-mail to employees, Bardin wrote that Waze was forced to “rethink priorities” and decided to focus resources on product improvements and accelerate investments in technical infrastructure. He added that sales and marketing efforts would be refocused on a small number of high-value countries. Accordingly, Waze will close its offices in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia and reduce its activities in Latin America.


In an April blog post, Waze revealed the extent that its userbase had eroded during the weeks of lockdown, reporting a 60% drop in the miles driven by its users. In countries where quarantine measures were most strictly enforced, like Italy, the number climbed to a 90% drop.