We suppose it was only a matter of time – reports have now confirmed that Google will be laying off a large number of employees, as part of a massive re-organization of development teams including those in its AR and Fitbit divisions, to name a couple.
In addition to the layoffs (reported to number around a thousand), Fitbit co-founders and CEO James Park, Eric Friedman, and other key personnel will be parting ways with Google. In a comment to 9to5Google, Google states:
“A few hundred roles are being eliminated in DSPA with the majority of impacts on the 1P AR Hardware team. While we are making changes to our 1P AR hardware team, Google continues to be deeply committed to other AR initiatives, such as AR experiences in our products, and product partnerships.”
These changes will surely leave a lasting impact on the company’s operations and products, especially with Fitbit. A while back, Google announced that it will be withdrawing Fitbit products and services from several countries in the EU. According to Google’s official support page:
We are no longer selling Fitbit products in select countries—but don’t worry! We will continue to support you and the devices you currently own with software releases, security updates, warranty fulfillment, and access to customer service.
This change lists several countries in the EU which include Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia. This move also affects several other countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines
This new development has led to many questioning Google’s plans with the Fitbit brand, which was acquired back in 2019. Some are likening the situation to Google’s handling of Motorola, which was again sold after the company managed to gain a considerable number of patents from the latter.
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