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Tue, Jan 09, 2018

GoPro Kills Karma, Announces Layoffs

As Many As 300 People May Lose Their Jobs

GoPro announced in its most recent earnings report that it is exiting the camera drone market after it sells off its existing drone inventory. The company is reportedly laying off between 200 and 300 people, mostly from the Karma segment of the business.

Techcrunch reports that the layoffs were announced in a letter from GoPro executives to employees effected by the move, which was called part of a "larger restructuring to better align our resources with business requirements."

In the earnings report, GoPro said that "Although Karma reached the #2 market position in its price band in 2017, the product faces margin challenges in an extremely competitive aerial market. Furthermore, a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States will likely reduce the total addressable market in the years ahead. These factors make the aerial market untenable and GoPro will exit the market after selling its remaining Karma inventory. GoPro will continue to provide service and support to Karma customers."

Sources told the tech blog that the employees have already been idled, but will be kept on the payroll until February 16. The news will probably not be officially announced until after CES.

The Karma Drone was the subject of a massive recall late in 2016 after reports that the aircraft were failing in-flight. The problem was traced to a problem with the battery disconnecting during flight, and the Karma was brought back to the market in February 2017.

The company released 100 people from its entertainment division late in 2016, and another 270 lost their jobs in March of 2017.

Sales of the Karma rebounded somewhat after the drone was reintroduced last year, but it has faced stiff competition by drone giant DJI, which released the Mavic and Spark drones last year appealing to the same buyers as might have bought a Karma drone.

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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