GoPro Inc CEO Keeps $229 Million Promise To Ex-Roommate

Woodman made the agreement with his former roommate Neil Dana when the two were living together while attending the University of California at San Diego. The promise will see Woodman return 4.7 million shares worth $229 million to GoPro, reports Bloomberg.


Promise kept after 10 year wait

The GoPro founder made the promise to Dana 10 years ago, and has proved to be a man of his word. Woodman promised to give Dana, who is the company’s director of music and specialty sales, 10% of any money he made from selling GoPro shares.

Woodman made the promise in the very early days of GoPro, when the company was still only making wrist straps for small cameras before it started making the cameras themselves.

GoPro issued Dana 6 million fully vested options in addition to 270,000 restricted stock units in 2011, and Woodman agreed that he would pay the money to GoPro when Dana exercised his options. Dana did so this week, spending $3.6 million to do so. The move means that Woodman’s net worth is set to decrease to $2.3 billion when he pays back the $229 million worth of shares to GoPro.

GoPro CEO highest-paid in U.S.

GoPro went public on 26 June 2014, making Woodman a billionaire. His mom, dad and two sisters all became millionaires as a result of the listing. Last year Woodman was the highest-paid CEO in the United States, with a compensation package of 4.5 million restricted stock units with a value of $284.5 million.

The action camera market is becomingly increasingly crowded with new rivals attempting to steal some market share from GoPro. The camera maker continues to dominate sales, but is also executing a plan to diversify its business.

One example of the plan in action is the acquisition of French virtual reality company Kolor, which allows GoPro to move into the virtual reality market. It is also rumored that the company is developing a cheaper camera which will attract casual photographers, giving GoPro a new market segment alongside the extreme sports enthusiasts usually associated with the brand.