After his attempt at a dot-com company failed, Nicholas Woodman traveled to Australia and Indonesia in 2002. While he was abroad, he realized that he could sell waterproof cameras. In 2003, Woodman founded Woodman Labs, the parent company of GoPro Inc. (GPRO). GoPro is a maker of some of the most versatile cameras in the world, 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.

Key Takeaways

  • GoPro is a maker of some of the most versatile cameras in the world, capable of fitting into small spaces, attaching onto helmets, and surviving harsh environments.
  • GoPro's revenue peaked in 2015, at $1.62 billion, an increase of 64.3% from 2014; revenue for the full year 2019 was $1.195 billion, up 4% year-over-year. 
  • The top individual shareholders of GoPro are Nicholas Woodman, Kenneth Goldman, Peter Gotcher, Dean Jahnke, and Brian McGee.

In September 2004, GoPro developed and sold its first camera, the 35-mm HERO, which brought in sales of $350,000. Thereafter, Nicholas Woodman continued to innovate his product and led GoPro through a Series A financing round in 2011. Additionally, GoPro ended 2011 with over $200 million in revenue and 2012 with over $500 million in revenue. Revenue nearly doubled in 2013, to $985.7 million. Its revenue peaked in 2015, at $1.62 billion, an increase of 64.3%. Revenue for the full year 2019 was $1.195 billion, up 4% year-over-year. 

GoPro has been moving into the virtual-reality and drone space to increase its product line, which they hope will increase their 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.

Although GoPro's shares have dropped significantly—almost 88%—since its initial public offering (IPO) in 2014, the five largest GoPro 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 common stock are entitled to 10 votes per share.

Nicholas Woodman

Woodman serves as chief executive officer (CEO) and is the largest shareholder of GoPro. Woodman owns 28.8 million Class B shares of GoPro, as of March 31, 2020. He holds 73% voting control of the company. 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.

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. Since September 2017, Goldman has served as the President of Hillspire LLC, a wealth management service provider. From October 2012 to June 2017, Goldman was the Chief Financial Officer of Yahoo! Inc., where he was responsible for Yahoo’s global finance functions including financial planning and analysis, controllership, tax, treasury, and investor relations. Prior, he served on boards of directors of numerous companies. Goldman owns 159,322 Class A shares and 95,000 Class B shares.

Peter Gotcher

Peter Gotcher has served on GoPro's board of directors since June 2014. Gotcher is an independent private investor focusing on investments in digital media technology companies. From September 1999 to June 2002, Gotcher was a venture partner with Redpoint Ventures, a private investment firm. Gotcher was a venture partner with Institutional Venture Partners, a private investment firm, from 1997 to 1999. Gotcher also founded Digidesign, Inc., a manufacturer of digital audio workstations, and served as its President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman. He served as the Executive Vice President of Avid Technology from 1995 to 1996. Gotcher currently serves on the board of trustees of Santa Clara University and is the Chairman of the board of directors of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Gotcher owns 220,765 class A shares as of June 2018 and 17,234 class B shares, as of March 31, 2020.

Dean Jahnke

Dean Jahnke has served as GoPro’s Vice President, Global Sales since February 2019. Prior to this position, he served as the Vice President, Sales from June 2018 to January 2019 and in various other positions at GoPro since March 2014. Prior to joining GoPro, Jahnke served as Senior Sales Manager of Western Digital from August 2008 to March 2014 and before that, Jahnke was Senior Merchant at Best Buy from June 2000 to August 2008. Jahnke owns 116,515 class A shares and 9,600 class B shares, as of March 31, 2020.

Brian McGee

Brian McGee has served as GoPro’s Chief Operating Officer since February 2020, GoPro’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since February 2018, and Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer since March 2016. Prior to his time at GoPro, McGee served in various positions at Qualcomm, most recently as the Vice President, Business Operations. McGee owns 382,074 class A shares.

Institutional Shareholders

As of March 31, 2020, the largest institutional shareholders of GoPro are BlackRock, Inc., The Vanguard Group, Prentice Capital Management, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. The Vanguard Group is the largest institutional holder, with 11.01 million shares. Blackrock Fund Advisors holds the second-highest number of institutional shares, at 8.6 million.