Google Changes Philosophy, Hundreds of Employees Laid Off

What you should know

  • Google is restructuring its teams, leading to layoffs, including some high-profile personnel from Fitbit and the AR division.
  • The company appears to be moving towards a more centralized team structure, similar to Apple‘s, with the aim of creating a more unified product line.
  • Despite the layoffs, Google remains committed to AR initiatives and product partnerships.
  • While the changes may lead to a more streamlined and efficient product development process, the announcement of such changes on the day they are happening has been criticized.

Full Story

Let’s get real: Google is a titan in the tech industry. The Big G doesn’t just run the world’s go-to search engine. It’s also behind the operating system that powers the majority of top-notch phones out there. And guess what? It manufactures some of those phones too. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Google’s tech involvement runs deep. The Pixel ecosystem, now more defined than ever, is one of its many ventures. It includes the Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds. But Google doesn’t stop there. It’s also knee-deep in exciting AR and MR projects, aiming to deliver innovation on a whole new level.

Now, imagine the ripple effect when Google decides to shake things up. Yep, you guessed it. People lose their jobs. It’s a real downer, especially when seasoned pros are also shown the door.

Just a few months ago, James Park announced the Pixel Watch 2. Now, let’s shift gears a bit. Lay-offs are a tough topic. So, let’s focus on two things: who left and why this is happening.

James Park and Eric Friedman, the original Fitbit co-founders, have left the building. That’s intriguing, especially considering that Paul Greco, VP of hardware engineering, recently exited too. It’s almost as if he saw what was coming. Google’s AR division also took a hit, with Clay Bavor, ex-head of XR at Google, and Marc Lucovsky, XR OS specialist, no longer on board. Could Google be ditching the idea of making AR stuff entirely?

Here’s the official word: A few hundred roles in DSPA are being axed, mainly impacting the 1P AR Hardware team. Despite these changes, Google remains committed to other AR initiatives, like AR experiences in its products and product partnerships.

But what about all the other folks whose names we don’t know, but whose work we’ve seen? Makes you wonder, right? And that brings us to the million-dollar question: why is this happening?

So far, Google has had separate internal teams for each of its brand divisions. For instance, the Fitbit team had its own designers, engineers, and so on. Now, it seems Google is reshuffling to have fewer but more centralized teams of specialists. The idea is to create a more unified product line, both in spirit and function. Everyone will be tapping into the same resource pool, in a sense.

By the way, guess who else operates like this? A little-known company from Cupertino called Apple. You might’ve heard of it. They make this thing called the iPhone. It’s pretty cool. I’m inclined to believe that this approach could lead to a great series of products. So, we might see some good come out of this.

However, announcing such changes on the day they’re happening doesn’t seem all that… friendly. But hey, Google is offering its “usual degree of support”. Those let go will have the “opportunity to apply to any open positions within the company”. Whatever that means, here’s hoping for a brighter future for everyone affected.

Regardless, we might be in for some interesting developments. It seems Google is positioning itself to go toe-to-toe with the Big A.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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