GameStop Announces Ryan Cohen as New CEO, Stock Soars 7% Premarket
Ryan Cohen, founder of Chewy and famous activist investor, has been named GameStop’s new CEO on Wednesday. The move comes three months after the company dismissed former CEO Matt Furlong to ramp up turnaround efforts. GameStop’s shares soared more than 7% in premarket trading on the announcement.
Cohen to Relinquish Executive Chairman Role
Shares of GameStop spiked 7.1% in Thursday’s premarket after the retailer announced it appointed activist investor Ryan Cohen as its new Chief Executive Officer. The move ends a months-long period for GameStop, during which the company made turnaround efforts without a CEO.
In the announcement, the video game retailer said Cohen will not receive compensation for his roles as the company’s chairman and now CEO. Cohen, who owns a 12% stake in GameStop, was unanimously chosen for the top role by the company’s board.
Until now, Cohen served as GameStop’s executive chairman, a position he acquired months ago when the electronics retail company fired previous CEO Matt Furlong. According to a securities filing, Cohen will now give up his executive chairman position as he takes the helm at GameStop.
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Cohen’s Impact on GameStop
Cohen’s involvement with GameStop started long before he was appointed executive chairman. Notably, the entrepreneur joined the GameStop board as a director in early 2021, during the so-called ‘meme-stock craze.’
The 38-year-old initiated an activist campaign at GameStop amid the retailer’s years-long efforts to turn around its business. Upon replacing GameStop’s executive team in 2021, Cohen tried reviving the company’s sales by doubling down on e-commerce and rolling out an NFT marketplace, although those endeavors did little to help the business.
During this period, shares of GameStop saw an unprecedented surge. In particular, a group of retail investors from online forums like Reddit’s WallStreetBets collectively decided to buy and hold GME shares, creating a short squeeze that forced hedge funds to cover their bets against the stock.
But the rally was unsustainable, with GameStop experiencing a volatile and dramatic stock price decline in the following months. Cohen’s arrival at the retailer also impacted GameStop’s turnaround so far, although the company did report better-than-expected results for Q2.
Now that Cohen has become GameStop’s CEO, do you think he will have a more pronounced impact on the retailer’s turnaround efforts? Let us know in the comments below.