GoPro - a company that had such a poor Q4 2015 that it reduced its own projections for 2016 by hundreds of million of dollars and laid off a chunk of its staff - has managed to steal a longtime designer out from underneath Apple.
His name is Daniel Coster. In an official release, GoPro said Coster will help "influence all aspects of design at GoPro" - and that includes both hardware and software. His departure from Apple is significant not only because GoPro (which hasn't released a flagship camera since 2014) poached him but also hardly anyone ever strays from Jony Ive’s design studio. It's basically a close-knit group of industrial designers.
Ive is Apple's famous design chief who was bumped up from "Senior Vice President of Design" to "Chief Design Officer" in early 2015. It's a new company position, and it means Ive is now able to hand off all managerial duties for both the industrial and software design units to two new leaders named Richard Howarth (Vice President of Industrial Design) and Alan Dye (Vice President of User Interface Design).
Coster, who came to Apple in 1993, has been with Apple for nearly as long as Ive. According to Walter Isaacson, who wrote the official Steve Jobs biography, Coster was once considered Ive's top deputy. He and Ive even sketched out the plastic sea-green casing of the futuristic iMac G3. That machine later became known as the Bondi Blue iMac. Coster is on several other Apple design patents.
During the last 20 years, only one industrial designer - Doug Satzger - has left Ive's design studio. Satzger went over to Intel to head up that company's design group. As for Coster, it's assumed he will help GoPro on its next action camera, thought to be called the Hero 5. GoPro is also working in a 360-degree camera and a quadcopter, so it looks like the ex-Apple designer will have his hands full at his new gig.
Nick Woodman, GoPro's CEO, has blamed GoPro's struggles on software and claimed the company is trying to make it easier for users to edit footage both faster and automatically. GoPro even recently acquired two companies behind popular editing apps. With this new strategy in place, and with Coster now on board, it'll be interesting to see how well GoPro does going forward.