scorecardNavigation company TomTom lays off 500 employees from its maps unit
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Navigation company TomTom lays off 500 employees from its maps unit

Rosie Bradbury   

Navigation company TomTom lays off 500 employees from its maps unit
Tech2 min read
TomTom revamped its business strategy in 2019, taking a bet on driverless cars    Eva Plevier/Reuters
  • Geolocation tech company TomTom is cutting 10% of its global workforce.
  • The layoffs are concentrated in its maps unit, due to improvements in TomTom's mapmaking automation.

Geolocation tech firm TomTom is laying off 500 employees in its maps unit after engineering investments improved its automated mapmaking platform, the company said.

It announced the decision in a company press release published on Wednesday.

The number of maps unit employees affected is equivalent to around 10% of the company's total global headcount.

"Higher levels of automation and the integration of a variety of digital sources will result in fresher and richer maps, with wider coverage," said TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn in the statement.

A TomTom spokesperson told Insider: "The intended reorganization is spread over more than 20 countries globally. We will not comment on the specific country by country impact as we want to ensure a diligent process with all parties involved."

It added: "When hiring, the potential redundant profiles are considered thoroughly, to see whether these could be a match, before turning to the market."

The company said it would assist any employees involved, where possible, to find and apply for new positions within TomTom.

TomTom's stock has fallen nearly 19% year-to-date. Tech companies have been battered by stock sell-offs as yearly revenue projections have been downgraded and investors have gotten jitters.

Once best-known for its satellite car navigation, Amsterdam-based TomTom revamped its strategy in 2019, including to cater to self-driving car mapping technology. It has signed a string of partnerships with major car brands to provide HD maps to their systems, amounting to a roughly 60% market share in HD maps when measured by total car volume, according to a corporate pitch deck.

It also has ongoing partnerships with Uber, Microsoft, and Apple Maps, according to Venture Beat.

TomTom joins a rapidly growing list of tech companies slashing their workforces, including European tech darling Klarna, a "buy now, pay later" fintech that laid off around 700 of its employees this month.

Streaming giant Netflix, delivery startup Gorilla, and retail investing app Robinhood have also made recent cuts to their workforces.