The contingency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus is leading millions of companies in the world to close their doors or make decisions to survive, such as the dismissal of employees. In the technology sector the situation has not been different and firms like Mozilla have cut part of their staff and now Waze also reported that it will let go of 5% of its global workforce.
Waze CEO Noam Bardin said via email to employees that they will lay off around 30 people out of a total of 555. In addition, they will close several of their offices in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions. say in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, with the intention of refocusing their business on certain markets which may be good news since among the countries where they plan to invest is Mexico.
Most of the employees to be laid off are from the company’s sales, marketing and association divisions. However, Waze said it plans to hire a proportionate number of people just for its technology and engineering teams. It also promised to give the dismissed people severance pay, bonuses and health insurance, until early 2021.
And it is that the navigation service and maps owned by Google has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic that has emptied roads around the world and has closed many cities, as people have stayed at home, which means fewer people using Waze to reach their destinations and therefore less advertising revenue for the business.
Waze, which was acquired by Google in 2013, has seen a drop in both the number of monthly active users and the number of customers using the app. In fact, according to a document released in April, globally its users drove 60% less in March, when the closures began to take effect, compared to February and, as the pandemic progressed, those numbers got worse. Waze said that at one point weekly kilometers traveled globally decreased 70%.
Waze Carpool, the company’s ride-sharing service, is also suffering. With more people working from home, fewer users use this service to share rides with coworkers and neighbors who work a similar route. That is why, while at the beginning of this year the company was on track to cross one million monthly shared rides worldwide, now it is nowhere near that goal.
Mexico is an opportunity
Even though the platform has started to see a recovery in recent weeks as people return to work, the company is in a situation that forces it to rethink its priorities. “We have 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,” said Noam Bardin.
The above statement could be positive as, as is known, the markets in which they will invest are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Mexico.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many cities and countries have imposed travel restrictions to slow the spread of the disease, so it’s no wonder our users drive less (or have stopped altogether), which has caused a significant drop in mileage, carpooling and advertising revenue. This has forced us to rethink priorities and we have decided to focus our resources on product improvements for our users, accelerate our investments in technical infrastructure and refocus our efforts on sales and marketing in a small number of high-value countries. These investments ensure Waze’s long-term success and that we emerge from this pandemic stronger than we entered, “said the Waze CEO.
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