Google layoffs hundreds of employees from its hardware, engineering, and assistant teams.

As part of its ongoing cost-cutting measures, Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman have both left the company along with hundreds of other employees, Google reported on Wednesday.

Google announced that it will cut hundreds of employees at its Voice Assistant division and that the majority of the augmented reality (AR) team will be let go. A few hundred positions will also be lost in the hardware team, which is in charge of Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit. The search engine behemoth’s primary engineering team is also affected, according to the firm, in hundreds of roles.

Fitbit is a health and fitness tracking startup that Google purchased for $2.1 billion in 2021. Since then, Google has been releasing updates for its Pixel Watch, which competes with some of Fitbit’s products as well as the Apple Watch.

“Throughout second-half of 2023, a number of our teams made changes to become more efficient and work better, and to align their resources to their biggest product priorities. Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally,” a spokesperson for Google told Reuters in a statement.

The spokesperson did not say how many positions were affected. The number of individuals involved in the Google Assistant software and other teams is not easily determined.

Following the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, firms like Google and Microsoft (MSFT.O) have placed bets on the growing use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which coincides with the reorganization of some teams.


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