A decade-old promise cost the CEO of GoPro $229 million. Billionaire Nick Woodman spent the small fortune to fulfill a vow he made to his college roommate.
Woodman returned 4.7 million shares to GoPro, a camera maker, on May 11, according to a regulatory filing. Back in 2011 he had agreed to repay the company for stock options it granted to Neil Dana, who attended the University of California at San Diego with Woodman. Dana was GoPro employee No. 1.
During the early development stages of GoPro, Woodman promised to give Dana 10 percent of any proceeds he received from the sale of the company’s shares, according to the company’s 2014 prospectus. “To cancel this agreement, GoPro issued Dana more than 6 million fully vested options in June 2011 and 270,000 restricted stock units six months later. Woodman agreed to reimburse the company when the options were exercised,” reports Bloomberg.
Dana is still with GoPro, which was launched in 2002. Dana, who today is director of music and specialty sales, spent $3.6 million to exercise his options, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those options were recently valued at $229 million.
The repayment has put a slight dent in Woodman’s net worth, which will fall to $2.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Don’t feel too sorry for Woodman. In 2014 he was awarded a compensation package worth $285.3 million, making him the highest-paid U.S. executive, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.