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GoPro Karma Drone Disaster Leads To Hundreds Of Layoffs: Maybe GoPro Should Stick To Cameras?

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

A new report claims that GoPro will lay off hundreds of workers, most of which are employed under the division that created the Karma drone.

GoPro To Lay Off Hundreds Of Workers

According to sources close to the company, TechCrunch learned that GoPro is laying off about 200 to 300 employees this week. Most of the workers are in the company's aerial division, which is the unit responsible for the development of the Karma drone.

In a letter sent to the affected workers, GoPro explained that the layoffs were part of a larger restructuring that is meant "to better align our resources with business requirements." The employees will be kept on the company's payroll until Feb. 16 though, with the news of the layoffs likely planned to be released after CES 2018.

The new batch of layoffs is the latest in a string of downsizing moves for GoPro over the recent years. The company laid off 15 percent of its workforce, while also shutting down its entertainment division at the end of 2016. In March last year, GoPro laid off another 17 percent of its workforce, which was about 270 employees.

Effects Of Failed GoPro Karma Drone Launch Linger

The consequences of the failed launch of the Karma drone are still haunting GoPro, even if it happened more than a year ago.

Just 16 days after the release of Karma to the market, GoPro decided to issue a recall order for its first drone. The reason was because there were reports of Karma drones losing power while in flight and falling out of the sky. The problem was eventually traced to the Karma drone battery being shaken loose due to vibrations while flying.

The GoPro Karma drone was re-released in February 2017. The drone actually found commercial success afterward, but DJI remained on top of the drone industry with its Mavic Pro and Spark models.

Should GoPro Stick To Action Cameras?

An important part of the business plan implemented by GoPro CEO Nick Woodman is diversification, as there are now simply too many brands and models of action cameras in the market.

However, with the entertainment division gone and the aerial division in shambles, GoPro might want to rethink its strategy.

The GoPro Hero 6 Black, meanwhile, received great reviews when it was released and initially sold well. It is unknown how well it performed in the recently concluded holiday season, but it appears that action cameras remain the best business for GoPro.

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