GoPro is bringing on former Skype CEO and top Microsoft executive Tony Bates to be its second in command, adding to the camera maker's ranks his expertise in growing businesses as it prepares to go public. Bates will serve as president of GoPro and as a member of its board of directors. Investor Peter Gotcher was also named to GoPro's board today.
"GoPro represents everything that excites me in a company."
"I'm fired up to have two seasoned technology veterans like Tony and Peter join our team," Nicholas Woodman, GoPro's founder and CEO, says in a statement. "Their passion and experience will help us realize our vision for enabling people to self-capture and share engaging personal content." Woodman says that Bates will be focused on scaling GoPro's "fast-growing media operations." GoPro features videos on its website that were shot using its cameras, and it's possible that Woodman is looking to expand this.
Bates was named CEO of Skype in 2010 and continued to run it after being purchased by Microsoft. During that time, Skype introduced paid services and saw its monthly users increase to 170 million, up from 145 million during the year he joined. At Microsoft, Bates was later transitioned into a business development role. He left Microsoft after Satya Nadella was named its new CEO — a role that Bates was seemingly passed over for.
"GoPro represents everything that excites me in a company," Bates says in a statement. "Incredible products, compelling content, a world-renowned brand and above all, amazing people who make it happen." GoPro's small and resilient cameras have seen plenty of competition, but they're remained the option that people think of when looking for a camera that can last through a beating and record video without getting in the way. Maintaining that will be critical as GoPro approaches its initial public offering, and Bates may be the one to help it move on from there.