GameStop CEO search may top Ryan Cohen's housecleaning

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GameStop is shaking up the executive suite yet again, according to reports. 

On the chopping block: chief executive officer George Sherman, as reported by Reuters citing people familiar with the matter. A GameStop spokesperson did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment. The video-game retailer is reportedly working with an executive headhunter on the search. 

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GMEGAMESTOP141.07-17.25-10.90%

The move marks GameStop's biggest, but not the first, executive shakeup since Ryan Cohen, the co-founder and former chief executive of online pet food company Chewy Inc, joined the company's board in January and sits as the largest individual shareholder. 

Other executives who have departed Gamestop include chief financial officer Jim Bell and chief customer officer Frank Hamlin.

RC Ventures, Cohen’s investment firm, has amassed an approximately 13% stake in GameStop with the goal of transforming the company into a major e-commerce player that sells a wide variety of merchandise with fast shipping. 

GameStop recently reported that its global e-commerce sales surged 175%, representing 34% of net sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. For the full year, global e-commerce sales increased 191%, representing nearly 30% of total net sales.

GameStop CEO George Sherman (Photo courtesy of GameStop)

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While Cohen may be cleaning house, he is adding key roles. GameStop has brought on a series of current and former Amazon employees, including Elliott Wilke, who will serve as the company's chief growth officer, Jenna Owens, who will serve as chief operating officer, and Matt Francis, who will serve as the company's first chief technology officer. 

In addition, Chewy's Andrea Wolfe, Tom Peterson, and Neda Pacifico will join GameStop as vice president of brand development, vice president of merchandising and vice president of e-commerce, respectively. 

Zulily's Ken Suzuki has also come on board to serve as GameStop's vice president of supply chain systems. 

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The company also said in an SEC filing that several board members are expected to leave before its Annual Shareholders meeting on June 9.

Those expected to depart include Ninendo executive Reginald Fils-Aimé and former Activision Publishing president Kathy Vrabeck, as well as board members Lizabeth Dunn, Paul Evans, Raul J. Fernandez, William Simon, James K. Symancyk, and Carrie W. Teffner.

Hestia Capital founder and chief investment officer Kurtis J. Wolf has also resigned from GameStop's board, effectively immediately. The company noted the resignation is "not the result of any disagreement with the Company or the Board on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices."

Following the annual meeting, GameStop intends to elect Cohen as chairman of the board and all members of the board will be compensated 100% in equity and will see compensation reduced by approximately 28% compared to the prior year.

Last week, GameStop said Sherman and four other individuals would be nominated to stand for election to the company's board of directors. The other nominees include Chewy's former chief marketing officer Alan Attal and chief financial officer Jim Grube, Kraft Heinz senior vice president of Global Finance and Treasury Yang Xu and founder of Volition investment group Larry Cheng. 

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The leadership changes follow a Reddit-fueled short squeeze targeting the company's short sellers that caused GameStop stock to soar to unprecedented levels.  

GameStop stock has jumped 648% this year. 

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