Action camera manufacturer GoPro has cut 200-300 staff in its aerial division, primarily impacting the employees responsible for the Karma drone.
The company told technology industry magazine Tech Crunch that the employee layoffs were so that the company could better align its resources with current business needs.
While GoPro is mainly known for its success in the action camera market, its foray into drones has resulted in a litany of problems for the company, from development issues to consumer safety.
The drone market is also hyper competitive, dominated by China-based consumer drone giant DJI.
GoPro’s Karma drone met with initial consumer success but was plagued with quality issues that led to recalls of the device. Complaints such as the drone falling out of the air for no reason to faulty connectivity have followed the device since and consumers are unforgiving of the Karma’s shortcomings.
After halting sales of the drone and bringing it back in February 2017, GoPro met some financial success but has since buckled under competitive pressure from DJI’s Mavik Pro and Spark offerings.
Initially GoPro and DJI were working together on a product that would eventually become GoPro’s Karma drone. The two companies parted ways and it was rumored that GoPro was searching for another partner in the drone business, some speculating that the company had reached out to southern California-based drone makers 3DR.
The cut to the aerial division comes as a hit to GoPro CEO Nick Woodman’s attempts to diversify the company as the action camera space is increasingly competitive with shrinking margins.
Fiscal year 2016 was a tough one for the action camera maker as it made cuts to its entertainment division in an effort to further streamline operations. While 2017 was somewhat better for the company, only time will tell if GoPro’s efforts to return to the kind of explosive profitability that propelled it onto the market will work.