Jan 11, 2024 - Technology

Google cuts hundreds of jobs as Fitbit founders depart

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Illustration of the Google "G" logo turning into a stop sign.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Google announced layoffs overnight to its hardware and Google Assistant teams and the departure of the co-founders of Fitbit, which it acquired in January 2021.

Why it matters: The moves are the latest cuts at large tech companies, which eliminated tens of thousands of jobs last year.

Details: The layoffs tallied in the hundreds, according to multiple media reports.

  • Google confirmed to Axios the departures of Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman and characterized the latest cuts as part of ongoing reductions being made in various departments.
  • "Throughout the 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," a Google representative said in a statement. "Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally." 

Between the lines: The reductions to the Assistant team comes as Google is working to revitalize the project with the latest generation of AI technology, as Axios first reported last year.

  • On the hardware front, Google has been integrating Fitbit features into its own Pixel brand of hardware, while scaling back the number of countries where Fitbit's fitness trackers are sold.

Go deeper: Women were disproportionately affected by the tech layoffs

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