In just a few short years, GoPro has gone from being wildly successful to (literally) falling from grace. The beloved action camera company has just announced that not only will it be pulling out of the drone and aerial market, but it will be putting itself up for sale amid dropping share prices.
GoPro’s foray into developing and manufacturing drones made perfect sense for a company dedicated to giving its customers extraordinary image quality and innovative opportunities to capture all of their outdoor activities. Unfortunately, when the company launched Karma, their first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), it was already obsolete compared to other drones on the market.
Being bigger, heavier, and having a shorter battery life than competitors wasn’t its only shortfall; GoPro issued a full recall of every Karma drone a mere two weeks after their release because a loose battery latch caused some units to spontaneously lose power and fall out of the sky. Hundreds of employees, mostly from the company’s drone engineering department, have already been laid off amid the announcement that GoPro will no longer be producing UAVs.
Pulling out of the drone business and reducing its workforce is not the only way that GoPro is attempting to cut expenses to avoid going bankrupt. Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman is reducing his salary to $1 for 2018. Woodman has also said that he would be open to partnering with or becoming acquired by a larger company, although he ultimately wants GoPro to remain independent.
Once the world’s best-selling camera and boasting one of the most successful tech IPOs of 2014, GoPro’s stock price has dropped from an all-time high of nearly $94 to under $7 per share. Reportedly, the company has recently hired J.P. Morgan Chase to help it find a potential buyer.