GameStop CFO resigns a month after the Reddit trading frenzy

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The corporate introduced Tuesday that Jim Bell, its govt vice chairman and CFO, will resign from his roles on March 26. GameStop (GME) has began looking for a brand new CFO “with the capabilities and {qualifications} to assist speed up GameStop’s transformation,” it mentioned, hinting on the firm’s efforts to shift its focus from bodily to on-line retail.
The announcement comes a few month after a buying and selling frenzy fueled by the Reddit web page WallStreetBets induced an enormous spike — and, later, drop — in GameStop’s inventory. From the beginning of the yr to January 27, when the inventory closed at $347.51, shares gained almost 1,915%. GameStop inventory is now buying and selling round $45, an enormous dip however nonetheless above the place it began the yr.
The occasion offered huge publicity for GameStop, garnering the eye of everybody from the White Home and Janet Yellen to billionaires like Mark Cuban and Elon Musk, to not point out your complete web. It additionally raised questions on GameStop’s future, as brief sellers who believed the struggling retailer’s fortunes would fall farther had been pitted towards retailer merchants who believed the corporate was being undervalued.

When requested by CNN Enterprise in regards to the motive for Bell’s departure, a GameStop spokesperson mentioned the corporate is “not offering any additional feedback at the moment in regards to the announcement.”

The GameStop frenzy is moving fast. Catch up here

In a press launch, GameStop mentioned it “thanks Mr. Bell for his vital contributions and management, together with his efforts over the previous yr through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Bell grew to become GameStop’s CFO in June 2019. That yr, the corporate’s chief govt admitted GamesStop was in a “powerful place” — it was affected by falling gross sales and had plans to shut round 200 shops. Whereas the bigger video gaming trade has been rising, bodily video games, one among GameStop’s mainstays, have grow to be much less common.

Then the pandemic hit and issues bought an entire lot worse. In September, the corporate introduced it deliberate to shut between 400 and 450 shops globally by the tip of the yr, round 100 greater than it had initially projected final March. And within the three months that ended October 31, the corporate’s most up-to-date reported quarter, it posted a internet lack of $18.8 million.

Nonetheless, some traders stay hopeful in regards to the firm’s potential to cut back its reliance on gross sales in bodily shops and transition to e-commerce. The founding father of on-line pet retailer Chewy.com, Ryan Cohen, made a big funding in GameStop final yr and now sits on its board, together with two former Chewy colleagues, and will assist push the retailer into the digital age.

If no everlasting CFO substitute is discovered previous to Bell’s exit, the corporate plans to nominate Chief Accounting Officer Diana Jajeh as interim CFO.

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