GoPro Drops Out of Drone Business, Lays off 250+

GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1

SAN MATEO, Calif. – GoPro, Inc. will exit the aerial drone market after selling its remaining inventory.

The company announced the departure as part of preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter that ended December 31, 2017.  

The departure is due to the "extremely competitive aerial market," the report states. It also describes a "hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States."

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GoProexpects revenue to be approximately $340 million for the fourth quarter of 2017.  Fourth quarter revenue includes a negative impact of approximately $80 million for price protection on HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session cameras as well as the Karma drone.

GoPro ended the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $247 million, up $50 million over the third quarter of 2017.  

GoPro's sharper focus will enable an $80 million reduction in operating expenses compared to 2017 levels.

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Reductions include: 

  • GoPro is reducing its global workforce from 1,254 employees as of September 30, 2017 to fewer than 1,000 employees worldwide.
  • GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman will reduce his 2018 cash compensation to $1.
  • GoPro will exit the aerial market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers.

A restructuring of GoPro's business will result in an estimated aggregate charge of $23 million to $33 million, including approximately $13 million to $18 million of cash expenditures as a result of a reduction in force, substantially all of which are severance and related costs, as well as approximately $10 million to $15 million of other charges, consisting primarily of non-cash items. 

GoPro expects to recognize most of the restructuring charges in the first quarter of 2018.  GoPro will provide more detail on its 2017 results and 2018 outlook in its fourth quarter earnings report which will take place in early February.

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"GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018," said Nicholas Woodman.  "We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap.  We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018."

In 2018, GoPro will continue to innovate with several new products aimed at new and existing customers.  GoPro's sharper focus will enable an $80 million reduction in operating expenses compared to 2017 levels, resulting in a target operating expense level of below $400 million for 2018 on a non-GAAP basis.

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