GameStop Hires Its Biggest Shareholder and Shares Surge

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GameStop announced today that Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen will chair a newly formed committee to “further accelerate the company’s transformation” and lead its customer care and e-commerce fulfillment functions.

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The company said in a statement that it has formed a strategic planning and capital allocation committee to “identify initiatives that can further accelerate the company’s transformation.” Cohen will be the committee’s chairperson, which also includes Kurt Wolf and Alan Attal. Wolf is CIO of Hastia Capital Management and Attal was Chewy’s CMO.

Cohen and Attal were appointed to the Board of directors in January, to bring “deep expertise in e-commerce, online marketing, finance and strategic planning to GameStop,” according to a statement at the time.

“We are excited to bring our customer-obsessed mindset and technology experience to GameStop and its strategic assets,” Cohen said in the statement in January.  “We believe the Company can enhance stockholder value by expanding the ways in which it delights customers and by becoming the ultimate destination for gamers. Alan, Jim and I are committed to working alongside our fellow directors and the management team to continue to transform GameStop. In addition, we intend to bring additional ownership perspectives to the boardroom.”

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Following the news this morning, GameStop’s shares were up 28%.

The company has been in the news constantly since January, as retail traders on the subreddit group WallStreetBets, who were intent on taking down hedge-fund short sellers by buying shares of stocks that didn’t seem to have much of a chance of success, sent stocks, including GameStop, soaring (and then crashing).

And late last month, GameStop shares finished the week soaring again,  with a 200% gain for the week ending Feb. 26. But while 200% is staggering, it’s a far cry from the record 400% weekly gain for the week ending Jan. 29.

That spike was attributed to various factors, including Reddit users who hyped the stock once again and the resignation of the company’s chief financial officer announced earlier that week. Jim Bell will step down on March 26, 2021.

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“The company thanks Mr. Bell for his significant contributions and leadership, including his efforts over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” GameStop said in a statement.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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