GoPro Lays off 200, Gets Out of The Entertainment Biz

By Steve Safran 

Just two months ago, GoPro announced an ambitious program where it would have 32 programs on the Red Bull digital channel.

Not so fast.

On Wednesday, GoPro announced it would be laying off about 15% of its workforce and shuttering its entertainment unit. That’s 200 people out of work, and a really quick change of strategy for the action camera company.

Company President Tony Bates will also leave his job at the end of 2016, as GoPro tries to make a fresh start of things amid a market flooded with portable, cheap, GoPro-like video cameras. In the company’s announcement, it announced it would focus solely on its core business – the cameras.

This comes amid a turbulent time at GoPro. In early November, it had to recall its first drone, the $800 Karma, because some were losing power while in the air. Last January, it laid off 100 employees. One year ago, GoPro stock was trading at close to $19. Today it’s at $10.

cam-represent-HERO-SESSIONGoPro is putting a positive spin on the day’s news. It led the press release with news about good sales of its cameras, which is says were up 35% year-over-year. The new HERO5 Black, it reports, is the “…top-selling digital imaging device in the United States.”

How many of those customers purchased the camera with the hope of getting their video onto the GoPro channels we won’t know.