- Months after its last CEO exited, GameStop on Thursday announced that Ryan Cohen is the company’s new top leader.
- “Mr. Cohen will not receive compensation for serving as the company’s president, chief executive officer and chairman,” GameStop said in a two-sentence statement. Cohen had previously declined to receive compensation for serving as a non-employee director, according to a May proxy statement.
- Cohen, a billionaire activist investor who founded Chewy, bought a financial stake in GameStop in 2020. He became board chairman in June 2021.
Cohen’s appointment to the CEO role comes after the board fired CEO Matt Furlong without cause in June and elected Cohen executive chairman. Furlong then resigned as a company director and its board shrunk from six members to five. Cohen is the manager of RC Ventures, GameStop’s largest stockholder.
A regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission further details that the company’s five-member board on Wednesday unanimously appointed Cohen to the leadership roles. Cohen is a board member but abstained from the vote, the company said in the securities filing.
Cohen will also take over the role of principal executive officer from Mark Robinson, who was named principal executive officer and general manager in June. Robinson will stay on as the company’s general counsel and secretary. The chief financial officer position also turned over recently with the August departure of Diana Saadeh-Jajeh, who had served in that role for about a year. No reason was given for Saadeh-Jajeh’s departure, but the company said it was not related to any disagreements on operational or policy matters.
From a financial perspective, GameStop has struggled. In March, the company posted its first quarterly profit in about two years. In the second quarter, the company reported net sales of about $1.16 billion, up from $1.14 billion year over year. GameStop also reported a much smaller net loss of $2.8 million for the quarter ending July 29, versus a nearly $109 million net loss a year earlier. GameStop also said in August it’s ending its venture into crypto wallets due to an uncertain regulatory environment.
The company did not immediately respond to Retail Dive’s request for further comment about Cohen’s new leadership role or its financial outlook ahead of the holiday season.
In addition to founding Chewy, Cohen also took a significant stake in Bed Bath & Beyond last year. He sold his interest just a few months later. Cohen is now under investigation by the SEC over his dealings with Bed Bath & Beyond, which included the executive selling his stock days after tweeting positively about the company, The Wall Street Journal reported. Nevertheless, Cohen’s interest in Bed Bath & Beyond drove its stock price up, generating a nearly $60 million profit for him, according to that report.
Bed Bath & Beyond filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. That company essentially exists in name only after online retailer Overstock bought elements of Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property and rebranded itself to take advantage of the latter company’s name recognition.