GoPro Entertainment Head Zander Lurie Resigns, Company to Lay Off 7% of Workforce
Zander Lurie has resigned as SVP of GoPro Entertainment, it was announced today. The action camera maker also revealed that it is laying off 7% of its workforce in the wake of lower than expected fourth quarter sales.
A former exec with Guggenheim Digital Media, CBS Corp. and CNET, Lurie joined GoPro in November 2014 to expand its production, curation and distribution efforts beyond YouTube, where its channel currently has more than a billion views and 3.63 million subscribers.
In July 2015, Lurie was joined by former Hulu head of originals Charlotte Koh, who was given the newly-created position of head of features and series. At the time of her hire, Koh told Variety that she would be striking partnerships with Hollywood creatives as well as studios and networks to develop and co-produce new content using GoPro’s signature cameras, but she couldn’t go into specifics about the nature of the content because they were still in the “seed-planting stage.”
In the months since, no significant programming has flowered, unless one counts an initiative announced in October that will grant up to $5 million annually to users of the company’s signature action cameras who submit their content for potential GoPro Channel programming and licensing.
Although Lurie is no longer CEO, he will not be leaving GoPro entirely: the company also announced today that he has been appointed to serve on its board of directors.
GoPro said that it expects to report revenue of $435 million for Q4 2015, falling short of analysts’ forecasts of $508 million in revenue by 14%. Go Pro’s stock had fallen 71% over the past year to $14.61 a share. Following today’s announcement, the stock fell a further 24% to $11.09 in after-hours trading.
GoPro’s current woes are, in part, a product of its rapid success. Over the past two years, its worforce has grown by more than 50% annually, to more than 1,500 employees at the end of 2015. The company estimates that it will incur approximately $5 million to $10 million in restructuring expenses in the first quarter of 2016, most of which will be severance costs.
GoPro will release its full Q4 2015 and year-end financial results on Feb. 3.