Less than 18 months after its debut, the GoPro Karma drone is flying off into the sunset, never to be seen again. The Karma suffered a setback early on in its short lifespan, when 2,500 units were recalled due to a battery issue that had the potential to cause the drone to fall out of the sky. That issue was fixed, and the Karma returned to market, but remaining competitive in the drone business has been an uphill battle for GoPro.
According to a recent press release
, “Although Karma reached the number two 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.”
Along with the news about the Karma, GoPro also announced that it would be laying off approximately 254 employees from its global workforce in an effort to reduce operating costs.
“GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018," said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO. "We entered the new year with strong sell-through and are excited with our hardware and software roadmap. We expect that going forward, our roadmap coupled with a lower operating expense model will enable GoPro to return to profitability and growth in the second half of 2018." Nicholas Woodman will also be reducing his 2018 cash compensation to $1 as part of the restructuring.