The Alphabet-owned company Google is laying off hundreds of employees across several divisions. These include the division working on the voice-activated Google Assistant and the team that manages the Nest, Pixel, and Fitbit hardware.
Google Lays Off People In The Google Voice Assistant And AR Hardware Department
A Google spokesperson’s statement via Tech Crunch says that several teams have made changes to become “more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities.”
The company has also let go of most AR hardware team employees. Per a report by 9to5Google, the company will now work with OEMs. Further, Google will restructure so that one hardware engineering team looks after all the product lineups.
One Hardware Engineering Team To Look After All Products
Previously, each lineup had a dedicated team looking after the design, software development, etc. Whether this is a good move or something that will hamper innovation across the company’s product lineup consists of devices that vary in nature, user interface, design, etc.
Fitbit Co-Founders Leave Google
Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman have also decided to leave. For those catching up, Google acquired the health tracker and smartwatch manufacturer in 2019 for a whopping $2.1 billion deal that took almost two years to get approval.
However, ever since, Google has been merging Fitbit products and services into its products. For instance, the Google Pixel Watch has most of the hardware and software features that Fitbit initially designed.
However, now that the co-founders have left the company, Fitbit will either completely dissolve in Google’s wearables or continue existing as a minor product lineup that occasionally gets updates and new models. Something similar happened to Beats when Apple acquired it.
This Is The First Round Of Layoffs This Year
In 2023, Google already cut about six percent (about 12,000 people) of its staff by laying off people in different teams, including Waze, recruitment, and the News department.
Responding to the latest layoffs, the Alphabet Workers Union posted a tweet on X (previously known as Twitter). The union mentions that the layoffs are “needless” and that the company is firing employees while making billions.