GoPro CEO Gives $229 Million to His College Roommate to Keep a Promise He Made

Well, at least one billionaire is true to his word.

GoPro Inc. founder, now billionaire Nick Woodman, just dropped a cool $229 million to fulfill a promise he made a decade ago to his college roommate.

Woodman returned 4.7 million shares to the San Mateo-based camera maker on May 11, according to a regulatory filing. In 2011, he agreed to repay the company for stock options it granted to Neil Dana, who was GoPro employee No. 1.

The two previously attended the University of California at San Diego together, where they were roommates in the early 2000s.
In the 2004 development phase of the now hugely successful company, Woodman promised to give Dana 10 per cent of any proceeds he received from the sale of the company’s shares.

By 2011, the once tiny camera company had grown exponentially, and was on the way towards an initial public offering that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

GoPro granted Dana – who is currently GoPro’s director of music and specialty sales – more than 6 million fully-vested options in June 2011, along with 270,000 restricted stock units six months later. Woodman agreed to reimburse the company when the options were exercised.

And Dana decided to exercise them this week.

Dana spent $3.6 million to do so, and they were valued at $229 million at the close of trading on Monday.

True to his word, Woodman then transferred 4,678,180 of his own stock back to GoPro the same day to repay the company for granting the options to Dana in the first place.

Although $229 million is not chump change to Woodman, we have a feeling he’s going to be just fine – the transaction will reduce Woodman’s net worth to $2.3 billion.

Not to mention, GoPro took in more than $1.4 billion in revenue last year.

Did we mention he’s only 39?


Title photo courtesy of GoPro.

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