GoPro Laying Off Up to 300 Workers as Karma Drone Flounders

REUTERS  Mike Segar

REUTERS Mike Segar

SAN MATEO Is the Karma about to come crashing to the ground? According to a new report, the company has conducted a new round of layoffs which is primarily aimed at its drone division.

That's one possibility facing San Mateo-based GoPro, following reports that the sport-camera maker is about to shed between 200 and 300 jobs from its aerial division, which is the part of GoPro's business that's responsible for the Karma drone device.

Sources say the impacted employees were relieved of their duties this week but will remain on GoPro's payroll until February 16.

A letter to affected employees said the cuts were part of a larger restructuring effort created to better align resources with business requirements.

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GoPro now employs about 1,250 people.

The future of GoPro's drone division remains uncertain at this point in time.

There had been a ray of hope that things were turning around after the initial disaster with GoPro's Karma, which had to be recalled out of the gate.

GoPro even touted the success of the Karma, claiming it was the "the #2 selling drone in the United States priced $US1000 ($1274) and above" as of September 2017.

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Just 16 days after the release of Karma to the market, GoPro chose to issue a recall order for its first drone. And at a starting price of $800, customers weren't too happy about their investment falling apart as soon as it took to the air. "It's clearly not selling as well as they expected".

The disastrous GoPro Karma drone launch was back in the fourth quarter of 2016, but the action camera company is still feeling its effects.

GoPro's downsizing this week follows a string of layoffs over the past few years.

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