GoPro (GPRO) Poaches Apple (AAPL) Designer; Stock Soars

Gopro App

GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) poached Daniel Coster, a veteran designer at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and appointed him as Vice President of Design. He will assume his position by the end of this month and will report to GoPro founder and CEO Nick Goodman.

Costner was a member of the elite industrial design team at Apple for more than 20 years. He holds more over 500 design patents and some utility patents. He received recognitions for his works by several international design organizations.

During his tenure at Apple, Coster helped design a wide range consumer electronics from the iPhone 4 to the iPad wireless keyboard, which are now considered iconic.

Technology observers believed that Coster and Apple Design Chief Jony Ive collaborated closely on the Bondi Blue iMac G3, the first product launched by the tech giant when Steve Jobs returned as interim CEO.

GoPro team feels energized with Coster’s appointment

According to Goodman, he first met Coster on the beach in Sayulita, Mexico in December 2001—the very start of the five-month surfing trip when he developed and tested the first GoPro prototype.

“His design pedigree speaks for itself, but I will say that we feel energized to have him join GoPro,” said Goodman.

In his role, Coster will lend his strategic vision and expertise and influence on all the design aspects at GoPro including hardware and software services to maximize users’ experience.

“I’m honored to join the GoPro team. This extraordinary company is close to the hearts of so many people around the world. Its brand and products inspire us to capture and share our lives’ most important moments. I’m excited to shape the future with the incredible team at GoPro,” said Coster.

Stock performance

The stock price of GoPro closed $13.90 per share, up by 19% on Wednesday— a sign that investors were pleased with Coster’s appointment.

Some market observers suggested that Coster could enhance the company’s HERO4 Camera line, which faces strong competition in the action-camera market.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral, commented, “This gives some impetus to the idea that these guys may focus more on design and try to get their mojo back.”  He added that timing is the key since the action-camera maker is not moving fast enough. He said, if Coster “accelerate that process, it could be a good thing. This gives them an opportunity to capitalize on that — design new product categories and spur innovation within current products,”

GoPro shares are still down more than 22% year-to-date based on data from Google Finance. The stock traded between $9.01 and $65.49 per share over the past 52 weeks.

GoPro Stock Chart

In February, the company’s fourth-quarter earnings missed the estimates of Wall Street analysts. Its first-quarter guidance was also lower than expected.