GoPro ($GPRO) had — with no sugarcoating — a rough 2018. But as we're seeing through its LinkedIn and hiring trends, as well as its first quarter earnings, it may have stopped the bleeding... And might be doing so by pivoting to software.
In a similar pattern that we saw with Apple, GoPro has listed more jobs in Mobile Software than ever before. And while there weren't that many jobs for that at the company — it's hiring for five positions within that division now — it's a significant portion of their current listings.
Overall job openings at the company — while not at 2018 levels — experienced a recent spike, as it tripled the number of listings on its careers page from February 2018 to the beginning of 2019. Even after a post new-year drop, GoPro is hiring for 50 individual positions as of May 11, almost double of what its was looking for in May of last year.
On that March peak, the company was hiring heavily for Engineers as well as HR professionals in a subtle sign that the company is back in the laboratory working on new products. But, quite interestingly, is a new interest in Mobile Software professionals in a somewhat clear sign that the company is moving toward apps and away from the heavy overhead and engineering burdens of being a hardware company.
That uptick in overall hires is also helping GoPro regain a headcount. Since December 2016, right when GoPro was ending a multi-million year of losses, the number of employees who claimed to work for GoPro decreased by over 25%. That was, until the start of 2019, also known as the tiny uptick at the end of this chart.
While this uptick only accounts for tens of added employees, it is at least some positive movement for a company that has posted only two quarters of positive net income from 2016 onwards.
With GoPro exiting the drone business last year and competitor DJI applying some pressure with it making a rival to the GoPro Hero 7 Black camera, it seems that alternative data is picking up signs of a second life for a company that's spent the past three years soul searching.