After his attempt at a dot-com company failed, Nicholas Woodman traveled to Australia and Indonesia in 2002 and 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, sticking onto helmets, and generally surviving a harsh beating. They also develop mobile applications and video editing tools that allow users to create high-quality videos captured on their tiny cameras.
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, and 64.3% to $1.62 billion in 2015. Revenue slipped to $1.18 billion in 2016. In 2017 the company reported revenue of $1.38 billion. For Q2 2018, GoPro reported revenue of $238 million.
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 75% 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.
Woodman serves as chief executive officer (CEO) and is the largest shareholder of GoPro. Woodman owns 35.8 million Class B shares of GoPro as of March 2018. He holds 75.97% of the voting power. 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.
Anthony "Tony" Bates
Anthony "Tony" Bates is the former president of GoPro and current CEO of Growth Equity at Social Capital. Bates has held a number of powerful positions at numerous tech companies over the years, including senior vice president and general manager, at Cisco, CEO of Skype, and EVP of business development, strategy, and evangelism at Microsoft. He was rumored to have left Microsoft following the company's decision to appoint Satya Nadella, and not him, as Steve Balmer's successor. Bates came to GoPro and worked as president, reporting directly to Woodman. After GoPro decided to shutter its young entertainment division, Bates left the company but remains on the board of directors. Bates owns 566,516 class A shares and 2.3 million class B shares of GoPro as of March 2018. He holds 4.72% of the voting power.
Sharon S. Zezima
Sharon Zezima has served as the head of Corporate/Business Development at GoPro since October 2017 but has been with the company as General Council since 2013. She worked at gaming company Electronic Arts in a variety of roles from 2000 to 2012. Zezima graduated from University of Chicago with a J.D. and also holds an A.B. in American Studies from Smith. Zezima is the third largest shareholder in GoPro, with 79,693 class A shares and 54,656 class B shares as of March 2018.
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 18,249 class A shares as of June 2018 and 95,000 class B shares as of March 2018.
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 holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Gotcher owns 17,959 class A shares as of June 2018 and 73,212 class B shares as of March 2018.
As of March 2018, 37.35% of GoPro's shares were held by institutional and mutual fund investors. The Vanguard Group is the largest institutional holder of GPRO, with 9.18 million shares, a 6.62% stake. Blackrock Fund Advisors holds the second-highest number of institutional shares, 4.22 million, accounting for 3.05% of the company.