Alibaba Stock – GameStop CFO Ousted In Shakeup
GameStop Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell is stepping down in March, the company announced Tuesday, after a rollercoaster month where the company’s shares became the focal point of the Reddit-fueled meme stock mania, but a source close to the situation tells Fintech Zoom that Bell was pushed out because the board lost faith in his ability to help shift the company to an e-commerce focus.
GameStop did not give a reason for the departure of Bell, whose last day will be March 26, but in an SEC filing, it said Bell’s resignation was “not because of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices, including accounting principles and practices.”
Bell joined GameStop in 2019 as the company was struggling with the rise in online shopping and digital video games sales—but GameStop’s largest shareholder, Ryan Cohen, has criticized company leadership for failing to embrace the digital economy with enough urgency.
GameStop shares fell more than 3% in after-hours trading following the announcement.
GameStop did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fintech Zoom.
Cohen, the former CEO of pet food giant Chewy, has gotten some results for his activism after he became GameStop’s largest shareholder over the summer. In January the company gave his investment company, RC Ventures, three seats on the 10-member board. Earlier this month it hired a former deputy of Cohen’s at Chewy, Kelli Durkin, as vice president of customer care, as well as Amazon Web Services vet Matt Francis to serve as chief technology officer, and former Walmart and Amazon executive Josh Krueger to serve as vice president of fulfillment. Cohen wants GameStop to evolve into a technology company that delivers digital experiences to gamers rather than a video game retailer with a brick-and-mortar footprint.
GameStop’s struggles were the reason why short sellers, notably hedge fund Melvin Capital, shorted the company’s stock, leading to a wild standoff with retail investors on forums like Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets. Traders pushed the price of GameStop’s shares to $347.51 at the end of January; it’s since fallen to about $45.
What To Watch For
GameStop is looking for a replacement, but if one can’t be found by March 26, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer Diana Jajeh will be appointed interim Chief Financial Officer.