By Juby Babu
(Reuters) – Google said on Thursday it will merge teams working on mapping service Waze and products like Google Maps, effective Dec. 9, in a bid to consolidate processes.
The Alphabet Inc-owned company will integrate Waze, which it acquired in 2013 for $1 billion, into Google Geo, its portfolio of real-world mapping products that include Google Maps, Google Earth, and Street View, a Google spokesperson said.
Waze CEO Neha Parikh will exit the company following a transition period, Google said, adding that Waze will continue to be a standalone app, with about 151 million monthly active users worldwide.
“By bringing the Waze team into Geo’s portfolio of real-world mapping products, the teams will benefit from further increased technical collaboration,” the spokesperson said.
In a letter dated July 12, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would streamline processes and consolidate investments where they overlap.
In February 2021, Waze’s former top executive Noam Bardin said it struggled to grow within Google and that Waze could have “probably grown faster and much more efficiently had we stayed independent.”
(This story has been corrected to change the date to July 12, from July 10, in paragraph 5)
(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)