|Birth Day:||June 24, 1975|
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After studying visual art and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego, he launched a company called funBug, but decided to take a surfing trip around the world after this early business venture failed. It was during this extended vacation that he came up with the idea for GoPro.
Woodman is the son of Concepcion (née Socarras) and Dean Woodman. His father was born into a Quaker family and co-founded the investment bank Robertson Stephens; and his mother is of Hispanic descent and re-married Irwin Federman, General Partner of U.S. Venture Partners in 1992. Woodman grew up in Menlo Park, California and Atherton, California, attending the Menlo School, where he graduated in 1993. He earned a bachelor's degree in visual arts and a minor in creative writing from the University of California, San Diego in 1997.
In 2004, Woodman made his first big sale when a Japanese company ordered 100 cameras at a sports show. Thereafter, sales doubled every year, and in 2012, GoPro sold 2.3 million cameras. In 2005, Woodman appeared on QVC to sell his GoPro Hero. In 2004, GoPro had about $150,000 in revenue which grew to about $350,000 in 2005. In December 2012, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn purchased 8.88% of the company for $200 million which set the market value of the company at $2.25 billion making Woodman, who owned the majority of the stock, a billionaire. On June 26, 2014, GoPro went public – closing the day at $31.34 a share. In 2014, Woodman was the highest paid US chief executive, paying himself $235 million while GoPro earned profits of $128 million.
Woodman won the national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the retail and consumer products category in 2013. In 2014, Woodman accepted an Emmy Award on behalf of GoPro for Technology and Engineering in the category of Inexpensive Small Rugged HD Camcorders.
While in Australia and Indonesia on a surf trip, he used a 35mm camera attached to the palm of his hand by a rubber band to try to capture his surfing activities on film. Seeing that amateur photographers like him, who wanted to capture high quality action photos of their activities, had difficulties because either they could not get close enough to the action or were unable to purchase appropriate quality equipment at affordable prices, his trip became his inspiration to found GoPro. His solution was to develop a belt that would attach the camera to the body. To finance the business, Woodman borrowed $200,000 from his father, who still owned a 6.4% stake in May 2014. Nick also borrowed $35,000 and a sewing machine from his mother, which he used to sew camera straps while experimenting with early designs. Nick and his future wife Jill generated an additional $10,000 by selling shell necklaces they bought in Bali (for $1.90) from their car along the California coast (for $60). His desire for a camera system that could capture close up footage inspired the 'GoPro' name as, at that time, the only surfers who were filmed were the professionals.
After a successful IPO, the couple donated 5.8 million shares of GoPro stock to the Jill + Nicholas Woodman Foundation, a fund they created at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a Donor-advised fund in 2014. This donation allowed Nick Woodman to reduce his taxable income by approximately $450 million while avoiding capital gains taxes on the sale of the stock. From 2014 to 2018, the value of the donated GoPro stock declined from $500 million to $36.1 million. Woodman has not announced when or how much of the original stock the foundation sold. Woodman was one of the biggest donors in the tech industry in 2014; however, it angered investors because the donation avoided the typical 180-day waiting period after an IPO.
In March 2014, Woodman was honored for his philanthropic work with BUILD at their 5th annual gala in San Francisco.
In 2015, GoPro formed a partnership with the NHL in which the NHL would use GoPro products to improve the viewing experience for fans. Woodman has been invited to speak at various tech conferences and in October 2015, Woodman was a guest on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and wore a GoPro camera for the entirety of the interview. Woodman appeared as a shark investor in the sixth season of the show Shark Tank. Woodman has invested $125,000 as of November 2015 on Shark Tank on two investments.
In 2015, the foundation donated $2.85 million to a child abuse prevention center in San Francisco and a community center in Montana for $4 million in 2019. The total amount the foundation has dispersed for other projects has not been disclosed.
GoPro made a series of job cuts in 2016-2018. In January 2016, it cut 100 jobs, or 7% of his workforce. In November 2016, GoPro cut an additional 15% of its workforce after attempting to branch out beyond its core business of action cameras, as the entertainment division failed to reach profitability. Additional layoffs followed in March 2017. In January 2018, GoPro announced they were removing drones from their product lineup and reducing the workforce from 1,254 employees to fewer than 1,000. Woodman has announced that he is open to selling GoPro. With the layoffs, GoPro went back to its earlier, flatter structure. "We decided to simplify everything and get back to the business that we knew and loved as a private company," Woodman says.
In December 2016, a class action lawsuit against GoPro was announced. The complaint alleged that GoPro made false and misleading statements to investors and/or failed to disclose flaws in the company's drones, overstating customer demand, and GoPro's public statements were materially false and misleading.
With the many changes at and involving GoPro, including numerous job cuts and falling stock prices, Woodman was named in a 2016 Fox Business article as one of the year's worst CEOs.
Currently, Nick Woodman is 47 years, 0 months and 8 days old. Nick Woodman will celebrate 48th birthday on a Saturday 24th of June 2023.
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