GameStop's Board Pushed CFO Out to Speed Up Strategic Shift




  • In Business
  • 2021-02-23 23:55:50Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- GameStop Corp., the beleaguered video-game retailer whose shares soared and then collapsed in a trading frenzy this year, said Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell is resigning, effective next month.

The board and management pushed Bell out to make way for a new finance chief who shares their vision of transforming GameStop from a brick-and-mortar retailer into an e-commerce company, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified. Bell didn't respond to a request for comment.

An executive search firm has been engaged to find a finance chief with "the capabilities and qualifications to help accelerate GameStop's transformation," the company said Tuesday.

The Grapevine, Texas-based retailer is undertaking a strategic review, largely the result of pressure from board member Ryan Cohen, who bought about 13% of the shares and became the company's largest individual investor. The former head of pet-supply provider Chewy has pushed GameStop to become a more direct competitor to Amazon.com Inc. He won three seats on the company's board earlier this year.

Diana Jajeh, GameStop's chief accounting officer, will step in if the CFO post isn't filled by Bell's March 26 exit, the retailer said. Bell held the position since June 2019.

"Mr. 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," the company said in a filing. The company declined to comment.

Read more: Robinhood, Citadel CEOs at GameStop hearing

Shares of GameStop tumbled as much as 4.8% to $42.80 in extended trading following the announcement. Shares of the company soared as high as $483 in January during a so-called short squeeze.

GameStop wasn't able to capitalize on the run-up, though the company said in December that it might try to raise as much as $100 million through a stock sale.

The frenzied stock action was driven by traders on the social network Reddit. Congress is currently holding a series of hearings to determine if the surge and subsequent collapse in GameStop shares exposed any holes in the financial system.

(Updates reason for resignation in second paragraph.)

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