GoPro is firing around 200-300 employees this week, TechCrunch has learned from sources close to the company. The company's hits have been largely concentrated in its airline division, the business segment responsible for its Karma drone.
In a letter to affected employees, GoPro explains that these cuts are part of a larger restructuring "to better align our resources with the needs of the business."
TechCrunch has been informed by sources that the company has relieved employees affected of duty today but will keep them on payroll until February 16, likely anticipating to hold this news after CES and may – be attached to a next report of benefit instances.
The tightening of the belt will not be so surprising for those who have followed the movements of drones for several years. The GoPro Karma drone has been a headache from the start, both in terms of technical limitations and mass recall after reports said drones were falling from the sky last year.
The company feared the potentially dangerous mishap until the battery disconnected in mid-flight. GoPro temporarily suspended sales on the product, bringing it back to market in February. The return resulted in positive financial results for the company, and sales finally took off after the reboot, but Karma's call was overshadowed by a DJI partner, who introduced his own portable UAVs , the Mavik Pro and Spark.
The two companies reportedly worked on the project that would eventually become Karma, eventually separating. Of course, the wealth of DJI's experience in the space has given the company a head start on GoPro's latest attempt at diversification. The company also reportedly sought partnerships with other drone manufacturers, including 3DR from Southern California.
Diversification has been an important part of CEO Nick Woodman's business plan in recent years as the market has been inundated with competing action cameras. GoPro is still synonymous with space, but the prevalence of improved smartphone cameras, as well as GoPro alternatives much cheaper, have forced the company to explore additional revenue streams, including drones and VRs .
But it is precisely these attempts at diversification that have been the basis of the company. The entertainment division of GoPro was a key target during a layoff in late 2016.
The company experienced one of its worst years in 2016. GoPro has left 100 people leaving its entertainment division at the end of 2016 and another 270 jobs were cut in March 2017 Although the company's profits improved in the 17th quarter, the results seem to indicate that its decision to tighten its belt and rationalize its target has worked.
It seems, however, that the rebound was not enough to completely turn the ship up.
We have contacted GoPro to comment and we will update as soon as we have news.