GoPro axes entertainment division, 200 employees in restructuring

gopro restructures hero5 black review
Les Shu/Digital Trends
GoPro’s year of ups and downs, from releasing a new flagship camera to recalling the firm’s first drone, is prompting the action camera giant to reduce its workforce by more than 200 employees and close its entertainment division. GoPro on Wednesday announced a company-wide restructuring slated for next year, along with the departure of three-year company president, Tony Bates.

The announcement comes on the tail end of a rocky year for the company. GoPro fought a persistently falling stock price with the launch of new features like voice control and image stabilization this fall. The announcement of the Karma drone also gave the company a boost — but that was followed by a costly recall that further impacted the company’s stock price.

The restructure announcement was paired with a spot of good news for the company — holiday sales are up 35 percent so far, likely owing to what many consumers felt was a long overdue update with the GoPro HERO5. That flagship action camera has been the best-selling digital imaging device since its October launch, according to the NPD Group.

“Consumer demand for GoPro is solid and we’ve sharply narrowed our focus to concentrate on our core business,” said GoPro CEO Nicholas Woodman. “We are headed into 2017 with a powerful global brand, our best-ever products, and a clear roadmap for restored growth and profitability for 2017.”

That road map includes closing GoPro’s entertainment division, which promotes GoPro-crafted videos through a rewards system and streams user videos on multiple platforms. The entertainment division was a recent development by the company, born from an idea to build on the sales that already resulted from viral GoPro-shot videos and stories of the cameras surviving odd conditions. The rewards program celebrated it’s first full year — and a million dollars in award payments — only a month ago.

The company’s staff will be cut by 15 percent, which includes about 200 current full time employees as well as canceling open positions. The company says reductions will also be made in the company’s physical facilities.

The move will bring the company’s operating expenses down from about $735 million to $650 million, but will also cost the company between $24 and $33 million, with most of those costs to be incurred before the end of this year. The company says a large portion of those costs are severance packages.

GoPro’s president, Tony Bates, will also be stepping down at the end of the year. “In the past three years, GoPro has seen enormous progress in camera technology, software and international growth,” he said. “Today GoPro has a solid leadership team deeply focused on its core business and profitability.”

GoPro essentially began selling waterproof camcorders in surf shops but quickly grew into a dominate player in the market, arguably creating the action camera category. Now, the company is facing more competition from brands like Garmin, Sony, and even the budget manufacturer Yi Technology. Prior to the release of the GoPro Hero 5, many considered the company’s flagship camera to be in need of an update compared to competing models.

The company has since released several big features, including voice control, image stabilization, and automatic uploads to a new cloud storage service on the GoPro HERO5, and further upgraded with the capability of adding GPS data overlays. The company’s Karma drone was well received for its simplicity, but an error causing the drone to lose power midflight prompted a recall, and the company hasn’t yet indicated when shipments will resume.

In the statement, the company says that it will focus on their core products in a bid to enhance its profitability. “We have a lot of work to do to finish the quarter and our fiscal year,” Woodman said, “however our HERO5 cameras have been very well received by critics and consumers alike.”

News

WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, but no fix for its fake news problem

WhatsApp is struggling to stem the tide of fake news in India, its biggest market. In the last few years, its platform has been inundated with an around-the-clock avalanche of misinformation -- misleading mobs into lynching innocents and…
Movies & TV

The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Mobile

Apple expands digital student cards to 12 more universities this year

Apple announced it's expanding its digital student ID initiative to 12 more universities this year — essentially meaning that over 100,000 students will have access to the tech this year.
Computing

AMD graphics developers are calling their next card the Nvidia Killer

AMD's 2020 graphics card releases could be some of its most exciting in years. Sources close to the company claim that confidence in the Radeon division is sky-high, with some staffers calling their next cards "Nvidia Killers."
Photography

Nikon’s newest lens is the $800, portrait-savvy Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8

Nikon has pulled back the veil on its latest Z series lens, the Nikkor Z 85mm F1.8 prime lens. The lens uses optics designed for sharpness, autofocus designed for both photo and video, and a weather-sealed exterior.
Photography

Ona reimagines six favorite camera bags in new collection

Ona's new camera bags take inspiration from classic favorites and mix in new elements for the company's line of summer and fall releases. The new line of seven bags ranges from backpack to duffle bag, from full gear kits to a…
Photography

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Pixel 3a vs. ZenFone 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy A50: Camera shootout

You don't need to spend a ton of money to get a good camera phone. We take a look at some of our favorite midrange phones, ranging from the $350 Samsung Galaxy A50 to the $669 OnePlus 7 Pro, to find the best camera in this category.
Photography

Here's how to shoot high dynamic range images using (almost) any camera

High dynamic range photography can help you capture more color and detail in your photos. Here's everything you need to know about creating HDR images from your DSLR, mirrorless camera, or smartphone.
Deals

Best Buy snaps $60 off the HP Sprocket so you can print pictures from your phone

Make instant memories with new-found friends with the HP Sprocket 2-in-1 Photo Printer. Order yours from Best Buy at the discounted price of $100 before school starts.
Photography

The best GoPro accessories for 2019, from dive housings to dog harnesses

A GoPro is only as good as the tools you use with it. With so many options on the market, finding the best GoPro accessories can be a hassle, but you'll find our favorites here, from dive housings to dog harnesses.
Photography

The best Photoshop alternatives for 2019, from Affinity Photo to GIMP

Hate the daunting interface of Photoshop, or don't like being forced into a subscription plan? Here are four Photoshop alternatives to consider, from a powerful free option to approachable programs that still tackle advanced edits.
Photography

Got a bunch of old receipts? This $89 camera turns them into instant photos

Some receipts can't be recycled, but they can be used as photo paper. The Alulu is an instant camera that uses thermal receipt paper instead of film. The camera's creators say the camera creates environmentally-friendly instant prints.
Photography

The best Adobe Lightroom alternatives for editing RAW photos in 2019

Looking for a strong app to organize and edit your RAW photos? From beautifully designed apps like Skylum Luminar to professional tools like CaptureOne, here are the best Adobe Lightroom alternatives for 2019.
Photography

How to take bokeh photos: The beginner's guide to better blur

To some photographers, bokeh is a sought-after aspect of a photograph; to others, it's a buzzword that just won't die. But there's no denying that, when used correctly, bokeh can help your photos and videos pop.