After his attempt at a dot-com company failed, Nicholas Woodman traveled to Australia and Indonesia. While he was abroad, he realized that he could sell waterproof cameras. In 2002, Woodman founded Woodman Labs, the parent company of GoPro (GPRO).

GoPro makes some of the most versatile cameras in the world. These products are capable of fitting into small spaces, attaching onto helmets, and surviving harsh environments. The company also develops mobile applications and video editing tools that allow users to create high-quality videos captured on their tiny cameras. This article looks at the company's five largest individual shareholders.

Key Takeaways

  • GoPro is a maker of some of the most versatile cameras in the world.
  • The company was launched in 2002 by Nicholas Woodman, who serves as GoPro's CEO.
  • GoPro reported revenue of $891.9 million at the end of the 2020 fiscal year.
  • The top individual shareholders of GoPro are Nicholas Woodman, Brian McGee, Kenneth Goldman, Peter Gotcher, and Alexander Lurie.
  • Prentice Capital Management, The Vanguard Group, and BlackRock are GoPro's largest institutional investors.

GoPro: An Overview

In September 2004, GoPro developed and sold its first camera, the 35-mm HERO, which brought in sales of $350,000. Woodman continued to innovate his product and led GoPro through a Series A financing round in 2011.

GoPro ended 2011 with over $200 million in revenue. Revenue nearly doubled in 2013, to $985.7 million. The company reported revenue of $891.9 million at the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

GoPro has been moving into virtual reality and drones to increase its product line, which it hopes will increase its market share of the camera industry. However, GoPro does not have the first-mover advantage in the virtual-reality and drone industries, which could make it difficult for its brand to catch on in these industries.

The company's shares have dropped significantly since its initial public offering (IPO) in 2014. But the five largest shareholders are still keeping a tight grip on their investment. Holders of Class A common stock are entitled to one vote per share, and holders of Class B shares are entitled to 10 votes per share.

1. Nicholas Woodman

Woodman is the company's chief executive officer (CEO) and GoPro's largest shareholder. Woodman owns 28.4 million Class B shares, as of April 20, 2021. He holds 69% voting control of the company. He also owns 305,361 Class A shares as of that date.

Since Woodman's humble beginnings in his 1971 Volkswagen bus, in which he drafted up patents and legal documents for Woodman Labs, he's helped GoPro grow into a billion-dollar technology company.

He ranked in 389th spot on Forbes' list of billionaires in 2015 with a net worth of $1.75 billion. He dropped off the list the following year, though, following a 20% drop in the company's stock. Traders exited their positions in after-hours trading after the company reported a drop in revenue in the third quarter of 2016.

Woodman and his wife Jill are co-trustees of the Woodman Family Trust, which owns roughly 26.5 million Class B shares of GoPro.

2. Brian McGee

Brian McGee is GoPro’s executive vice president, chief financial officer (CFO), and chief operating officer (COO). Prior to joining the company, he served in various positions at Qualcomm, Atheros Communications, and Intellon.

McGee owns a total of 326,266 class A shares.

3. Kenneth Goldman

Kenneth Goldman has served on GoPro's board of directors since December 2013 and as a lead independent director of the company's board since April 2017.

Goldman has been the president of Hillspire LLC, a wealth management service provider, since September 2017. From October 2012 to June 2017, he was the CFO of Yahoo!, where he was responsible for the company's global finance functions including financial planning and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury, and investor relations.

Goldman owns 209,785 Class A shares and 95,000 Class B shares.

4. Peter Gotcher

Peter Gotcher has been on the company's board of directors since June 2014 and is an independent private investor who focuses on investments in digital media technology companies. Gotcher was a venture partner with several private investment firms, including Redpoint Ventures from September 1999 to June 2002 and Institutional Venture Partners between 1997 and 1999.

He also founded Digidesignm a manufacturer of digital audio workstations, serving as its chair, president, and CEO. He Avid Technology's executive vice president from 1995 to 1996. He is also on the board of trustees of Santa Clara University and chairs the board of Dolby Laboratories.

Gotcher owns 271,228 class A shares and 17,234 class B shares.

5. Alexander Lurie

Alexander Lurie, who also goes by Zander Lurie, has been a member of the company's board of directors since 2016. He is the CEO of SurveyMonkey, a position he's held since 2016. SurveyMonkey creates and publishes online surveys.

He's a familiar face at GoPro, having served as the company's senior VP of media between November 2014 and January 2016. He's worked in the digital media space for a number of years, including as executive vice president of Guggenheim Digital Media between 2013 and 2014 as well as senior VP of strategic development at CBS from 2010 to 2012.

Lurie owns 256,095 Class A shares as of April 20, 2021.

Institutional Shareholders

Individual shareholders aren't the only ones highlighted on the company's proxy statement. GoPro filed paperwork listing the top three institutional investors as of April 20, 2021.

Prentice Capital Management held the most shares, with almost 12.7 million Class A shares. This represents just over 10% ownership. The Vanguard Group was the second-highest institutional shareholder, with just over 11 million or 8.8% of the company's Class A shares. BlackRock was the third-largest, holding about 8.6 million or 6.8% of the total Class A shares issued.