GameStop's board of directors has decided to fire CEO Matthew Furlong and establish Ryan Cohen as the executive chairman of the company.
Following years of operational losses, GameStop has shaken up its leadership team in an effort to further pivot towards transformation. GameStop's board of directors has fired former CEO Matthew Furlong without cause, as allowed in Furlong's employment contract, and has moved Ryan Cohen as the executive chairman. The announcement was made alongside GameStop's Q1 operational performance report which confirmed the company would not be holding a conference call for shareholders.
Following the announcement, GameStop ($GME) stock fell by over 19% from $26.11 to $21.09 in after-hours trading.
Ryan Cohen joined GameStop's board in 2021 and his company, RC Ventures, has nearly 12% stake in $GME. Cohen has been instrumental in shifting GameStop towards the digital direct-to-consumer e-commerce market as well as leading other expansion efforts including the controversial GameStop NFT marketplace.
GameStop's 10-Q filings show that the company actually reduced its operational losses in Q1 2023 to $50.5 million, as opposed to $157.9 million in Q1 2022. This reduction in losses was primarily driven by reduced cost of sales and a hefty $106 million reduction in SG&A expenses.
Below is a copy of the leadership change announcement from GameStop:
"As recently announced, we have made leadership changes, including the appointment of Ryan Cohen as Executive Chairman of the Company and Mark Robinson as the new principal executive officer of the Company with the title of General Manager. As Executive Chairman, Mr. Cohen will focus on capital allocation and overseeing management.
"We believe the combination of these efforts to stabilize and optimize our core business and achieve sustained profitability while also focusing on capital allocation under Mr. Cohen's leadership will further unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.
"On June 5, 2023, our Board of Directors terminated Matthew Furlong's employment with the Company as its President and Chief Executive Officer without Cause (as such term is defined in Mr. Furlong's letter of employment dated June 9, 2021), effective immediately.
"On June 7, 2023, in connection with Mr. Furlong's termination, our Board of Directors appointed Ryan Cohen as Executive Chairman of the Company and Mark Robinson as the new principal executive officer of the Company with the title of General Manager.
"Leadership transitions can be inherently difficult to manage, and failure to timely or successfully implement transitions may cause disruption within the Company, including execution of our transformational plans. This may adversely impact our financial performance and ability to meet operational goals and strategic plans, our ability to retain and hire other key members of management, and the market price of our Class A common stock."