Google Reorganizes Teams And Cuts Jobs In Voice Assistance And Hardware Divisions


Google made significant organizational changes, resulting in layoffs across various divisions such as the voice-activated Google Assistant and the Devices and Services PA (DSPA) team, which oversees Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit hardware. The company confirmed the layoffs, attributing them to the need for efficiency and alignment of resources with product priorities.

Key Takeaway

Google has undergone organizational changes, resulting in layoffs across divisions such as Google Assistant and hardware teams, eliciting criticism from the Alphabet Worker Union. The company continues to restructure its teams and streamline operations to align with its product priorities.

Alphabet Worker Union’s Response

  • The Alphabet Worker Union criticized the layoffs, deeming them unnecessary and expressing concern over the company’s actions despite its financial success.

Additionally, Google has restructured its AR hardware team and will collaborate with other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Notably, Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman are departing as part of this reorganization. Park played a key role in introducing the Pixel Watch line of smartwatches to Google’s hardware lineup. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit in 2019 and subsequent integration of Fitbit products into its ecosystem have been ongoing.

Impact on Google Assistant Team

Furthermore, Google has made adjustments within the Google Assistant team, aiming to enhance its capabilities beyond voice commands. Last year, the company began incorporating AI-powered features into Google Assistant, enabling it to analyze and respond to queries based on data from apps such as Gmail and Drive.

Company-Wide Layoffs

These recent layoffs follow previous instances of workforce reduction in various Google teams, including the Waze mapping service, recruiting, and the news division. Notably, this latest round of layoffs comes after the company’s significant reduction of approximately 12,000 roles, constituting 6% of its workforce, in January 2023.

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