In a move that nearly everyone saw coming, billionaire activist investor Ryan Cohen is the new CEO of GameStop.
The Chewy founder has taken an increasingly large role in the mass specialty retailer over the past two years following the “meme stock” frenzy of 2021. Cohen, through his RC Ventures, is GameStop’s largest shareholder.
Since Cohen joined the fray, the company has continued its ups and downs, but this year has proven exceptionally challenging. GameStop, which breaks its sales into three categories — gaming Hardware and Accessories, Software, and Collectibles — has seen sales slide all year. Even Collectibles, which had been a bright spot during the pandemic, has seen a major downturn this year in line with the greater challenges of the toy industry.
For the first seven months of 2023, Collectibles sales slid to $342.7 million versus $444.2 million during the same period last year.
GameStop says that Cohen will not receive a salary for his role as CEO.
Meanwhile, CNBC reports that Cohen started the day by firing off an email to GameStop’s employees demanding that they take ownership in their work if the retailer is to survive.
“Our job is to make sure GameStop is here for decades to come,” said Cohen in the email. “Extreme frugality is required. Every expense at the company must be scrutinized under a microscope and all waste eliminated. The company has no use for delegators and money wasters. I expect everyone to treat company money like their own and lead by example.”
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