Exclusive: GameStop Launches Search For New CEO

Β© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A GameStop store is seen in New York City’s Jackson Heights neighborhood

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – GameStop Corp (NYSE πŸ™‚ is looking for a new chief executive to replace George Sherman as he moves from being a physical video game retailer to an e-commerce company, three people familiar with the matter said Monday.

It would be GameStop’s biggest reshuffle since Ryan Cohen, co-founder and former CEO of online pet food company Chewy (NYSE πŸ™‚ Inc, joined its board in January. Its stock is up nearly 4,000% from a year ago, after it became the model for retail traders betting on so-called β€œmemes” stocks.

GameStop’s board of directors is working with an executive headhunter on CEO search, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is confidential.

Several GameStop administrators are involved in the research and spoke to potential candidates from the gaming industry, as well as the ecommerce and tech sectors, the sources said.

A spokesperson for GameStop declined to comment.

GameStop shares were trading down 12% to $ 138.75 on Monday afternoon, giving the company a market value of around $ 10 billion.

The CEO replacement is the latest in a series of changes Cohen has pursued since joining GameStop. Former CFO Jim Bell and director of clientele Frank Hamlin are among the senior executives who have left the company in recent weeks.

George Sherman, who has been CEO since April 2019, has been internally credited with cutting costs and steering GameStop through the COVID-19 pandemic that has driven many retailers out of business.

But Cohen and other GameStop board members see Sherman’s 25 years of experience with primarily physical retailers, such as Advance Auto Parts (NYSE πŸ™‚ Inc and Home Depot Inc (NYSE :)., Because less relevant compared to the digital transformation they have embarked on as a technology company.

Cohen, who was named GameStop chairman last week, is looking to make the company the online destination of choice for video game fans, just as Chewy has won over animal lovers.

He’s lobbied for a number of GameStop hires, including Elliott Wilke as chief growth officer, Jenna Owens as chief operating officer and Matt Francis as chief technology officer. All three previously worked at Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ :).

Cohen also brought in people from Chewy including Andrea Wolfe as VP of Brand Development, Neda Pacifico as Senior VP of Ecommerce and Kelli Durkin as Senior VP of Service. customer.

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