According to its earnings release earlier this week, GameStop has poached its new chief executive (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO) from Amazon, looking to continue to grow its e-commerce business model as it moves away from store-based locations.
Matt Furlong replaces former GameStop CEO George Sherman, while Mike Recupero comes in as CFO.
“GameStop today announced the appointments of Matt Furlong as Chief Executive Officer and Mike Recupero as Chief Financial Officer. Messrs. Furlong and Recupero join from Amazon, where they held senior roles and oversaw various growth initiatives during their respective tenures. The Company is continuing to actively pursue senior talent with gaming, retail and technology experience,” GameStop announced via a press release.
“In recent months, GameStop — which has been a darling of internet retail stock traders this year — has undergone a major executive shakeup at the direction of Ryan Cohen, the billionaire Chewy.com founder who invested heavily in GameStop last year and joined its board in January,” explained CNN. “On Wednesday, Cohen was confirmed as chairman of GameStop’s board during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.”
According to reports, many other recent hires come from either Amazon or Cohen’s Chewy.com, including “its first-ever chief technology officer, a new chief operating officer, a new senior vice president of e-commerce.”
In the first quarter of 2021, GameStop reported a net sales growth of 25% to $1.3 billion, the company reported.
“Net sales increased 25.1% to $1.277 billion, compared to $1.021 billion in the fiscal 2020 first quarter, overcoming a nearly 12% reduction in the Company’s global store base due to strategic de-densification efforts, and continued store closures across Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” GameStop wrote. “Gross margin was 25.9%, a decline of 180 basis points compared to the fiscal 2020 first quarter.”
Following a Reddit “frenzy” which fueled massive turbulence in GameStop stock, Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba reportedly dropped his coverage of GameStop, and told CNBC that the gaming retailer’s problems will continue regardless of its hiring decisions.
“It’s great that these guys worked at Amazon. Amazon is a very successful retailer that I do cover, that I’m very familiar with, but at the end of the day, GameStop’s problems have very little, if anything, to do with e-commerce,” Chukumba said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“Their problem is not that they’re not a good omnichannel retailer. The problem is that gamers are increasingly downloading video games,” he added. “Look, they can hire Jeff Bezos when he comes back from space. … It’s not going to make a difference. The symptoms are not aligned with the medicine that the doctor is giving them. You can hire anyone you want from Amazon — not going to make a difference.”
As CNBC noted, “GameStop’s shares are up 1,506% so far this year. Its shares have swung from a 52-week low of $3.77 to a 52-week high of $483. As of Wednesday’s close, shares were $302.56. Its market value is $21.41 billion.”
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