Apple designer Danny Coster moves to GoPro

Bondi Blue iMac, circa 1998

Bondi Blue iMac, circa 1998

In what's being called a "surprise move" by Silicon Valley insiders, a member of Apple's industrial design team, Danny Coster, is moving to GoPro to become the vice president of design with the action camera manufacturer.

So, why is the move a surprise? Well, Apple's design team has been quite solid and has had very few defections to other companies. Design chief Jony Ive reportedly handed day-to-day operations to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye last year, and some insiders wondered if the change in the design team dynamics would have an effect on the rest of the crew. 

GoPro seriously needs help at this time, with its stock falling from a high of $60 last year to about $12 per share now. Revenue growth has been stalling as competitors started flooding the action camera market with lower-priced and in many cases better-designed products. The company has promised new cameras for VR and may even produce its own camera drones, so Coster probably saw that as an opportunity to not only lead his own team of designers, but work on truly new consumer products. 

Coster started at Apple in 1993, and it's believed that he worked closely with Jony Ive on the Bondi Blue iMac shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Coster recently told a New Zealand high school student that he wished he had more time with family and friends, noting that the "pressure of things can be too large" at Apple. Hopefully his new position at GoPro will offer Coster a chance to delegate more responsibilities.