Today GoPro named Tony Bates its president and new member of its board of directors. GoPro recently filed for a $100 million initial public offering. Bates will report to founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman.
Bates is best known for his tenure as Skype’s CEO and then as an executive vice president at Microsoft after it bought Skype. After being a mentioned name in CEO bingo, Bates left Microsoft several months ago, along with Tami Reller, another high-ranking executive.
GoPro is in an interesting position. As TechCrunch reported, the company has seen quick revenue growth and is GAAP profitable, a rarity among companies going public at the moment. However, its most recent quarter was disappointing, as I wrote at the time of its S-1 filing:
Given that sunny set of facts, what’s the rub? The first quarter of 2014 was not as strong as its comparable period in 2013. Revenue for the three-month period this year came in at $235.71 million. In the year-ago quarter that sum was $255.05 million. Profits also fell, from a first quarter-2013 total of $23.03 million to a slimmer $11.04 million.
Having slipping growth and profits before your public debut is difficult.
I pinged the company for details on how Bates’ role will operate in relation to the CEO. However, as the company is currently in its quiet period before its IPO, I don’t expect to hear much back.
Bates wasn’t adrift long after leaving Microsoft. It’ll be interesting to see if his software experience can help GoPro build out its digital media business, which is a key part of GoPro’s future.