Photo: Getty

GoPro is reportedly laying off 200 to 300 employees this week, according to TechCrunch, gutting the division that produced its ill-conceived Karma drone.

The company reportedly announced the layoffs on Thursday but affected employees, most of which allegedly came from GoPro’s aerial division, will be paid through February 16th, sources told TechCrunch. The former employees were reportedly informed in a memo that the layoffs are a result of a restructuring effort “to better align our resources with business requirements.”

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Cuts from GoPro’s aerial division follow a disastrous launch of the Karma. Ahead of Karma’s slated release in 2016, GoPro announced in an earnings report that it was pushing the release back to the end of the year. Shortly after the release of its new drone, GoPro had to recall about 2,500 Karma units after users reported that they were literally falling from the sky. The company dumped the news of the recall on Election Night, just as America was collectively focused on its warping political reality.

“We have started an investigation out of an abundance of caution,” GoPro spokesperson Jeff Brown told Gizmodo at the time. “They’re losing power during operation. You see what we see on the internet. They’re losing operation while these things are flying.”

The fix, it turned out, was just a piece of tape.

GoPro’s downsizing this week follows a string of layoffs over the past few years. At the end of 2016, it laid off 15 percent of its staff and eliminated its entertainment division. And in March last year, it cut about 17 percent of its staff, or about 270 jobs.

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The series of layoffs marks the company’s continued efforts to grapple with a decline in sales and mounting competition. The company turned around its fortunes in the third quarter of 2017, earning $15 million in profits—a massive rebound from its $104 million loss during the same period the year before. GoPro even touted the success of the Karma, claiming it was the “the #2 selling drone in the U.S. priced $1,000 and above” as of September 2017. Alas, that appears to not have been good enough, and it remains to be seen if the latest cuts signal a hole in the grave for the Karma.

GoPro did not immediately respond to our request to comment on the reported layoffs and the future of its aerial division.

[TechCrunch]

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