Woodman’s 2018 salary was slashed on the back of GoPro announcing lower than expected preliminary results from the 2017 Fourth Quarter.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on January 10, 2018

As recently as 2015, the technology company had made Nick Woodman the US’s highest paid CEO.

At one stage, his annual salary package, which included restricted stock units, was valued at US$284.5 million.

Now, as the company which produces the GoPro action camera as well as drones, video-editing software and mobile apps hits hard times, Woodman’s cash compensation has been reduced to almost nothing.

Woodman’s 2018 salary was slashed on the back of GoPro announcing lower than expected preliminary results from the 2017 Fourth Quarter on Monday, 8 January 2018. The company had previously projected sales of US$480 million, but stated it now anticipates sales will only tally around US$340 million.

In response, GoPro’s share price had fallen by 13% when the market closed on Monday.

CNBC reported that GoPro had approached J.P. Morgan Chase to seek a potential buyer in 2017. The banking and financial services holding company had previously worked on GoPro’s initial public offering in 2014.

Woodman confirmed that the company was open to a sale or partnership. “If there are opportunities for us to unite with a bigger parent company to scale GoPro even bigger, that is something that we would look at,” he told CNBC.

In a press release, the company announced a range of measures due to its disappointing 2017 performance, including reducing the company’s staff from its September 2017 levels of 1,257 to less than 1,000.

The company has been a major player in the drone sector with its GoPro Karma. However, on Monday, it also announced it will exit the drone market. The release cited “an extremely competitive aerial market” and a “hostile regulatory environment” in both the US and Europe.

The Karma model had been beset by problems including a product recall when it had only been on the market for a matter of weeks.

Additionally, GoPro pointed to soft demand for its HERO5 Black camera as another reason for the disappointing figures. The company had been forced to discount both the Karma and HERO5 and said this led to a US$80 million reduction in revenue.

“GoPro is committed to turning our business around in 2018,” said Woodman. “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.”

The company has been synonymous with action cameras. Its current woes are a far cry from its 2014 IPO, when it was valued at US$2.96 billion and was considered one of the largest consumer electronics public offerings seen in decades.

Some observers have suggested GoPro’s decline in fortunes coincided with its decision to move away from its core business of action cameras. The Wall Street Journal suggested that the company’s ill-fated attempts at diversifying should “serve as a cautionary tale”.

Image: Thomas Hawk