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GameStop Loses Fifth CEO in Five Years, Shares Plummet

Published: June 8, 2023
A GameStop store operates in a strip mall on March 16, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On June 8, GameStop stock experienced a significant decline of approximately 19 percent, marking its worst session in two years. The sudden departure of CEO Matt Furlong, who was specifically chosen to lead the company’s online expansion, raised concerns about the struggling state of the video game retailer’s business.

Furlong’s removal coincided with the appointment of Ryan Cohen, the largest shareholder, as executive chairman. Cohen had previously positioned GameStop as a favorite among meme-stock traders by promising a digital transformation. However, these recent developments caused GameStop to lose nearly half of its 2023 gains and suffer a decline in market value amounting to approximately $1.3 billion. An analyst noted that management changes have been the only consistent aspect for the company in recent years.

Andrew Uerkwitz from Jefferies expressed frustration with the lack of information and communication from GameStop, telling Reuters, “It’s hard to have an opinion with no earnings call, little-to-no investor communication, and lack of consistent strategic vision.” He also highlighted the frequent turnover in leadership, mentioning that GameStop has had five CEOs and three CFOs over the past five years.

Uerkwitz is one of the few analysts remaining who cover GameStop since the massive rally it experienced during the pandemic, driven by Reddit traders. This rally led several brokerages to comment that the stock price had become detached from its underlying fundamentals.


The company’s shares have plummeted by nearly 80 percent from their peak of $120.75 during the meme-stock frenzy of 2021. In comparison to Best Buy, GameStop has a 12-month trailing price-to-sales ratio of 1.38, whereas Best Buy’s ratio stands at 0.37, as reported by Refinitiv.

GameStop has faced difficulties in fulfilling Cohen’s vision of transforming it into the “Amazon of video game stores.” In recent months, the company has experienced multiple high-level departures, including individuals recruited from Cohen’s personal network and Chewy, the e-commerce company he co-founded.

As a video game retailer heavily reliant on brick-and-mortar stores, GameStop reported its fourth consecutive decline in quarterly revenue on Wednesday, along with a larger-than-expected loss.

Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities expressed a pessimistic outlook, stating, “GameStop is doomed. The lack of a clear direction and the callous termination of Furlong all but ensures Cohen will have difficulty attracting a qualified replacement.”