GameStop appears to be gearing up for a major strategy shift, seemingly away from its existing brick-and-mortar store model and into embracing e-commerce.
Today, the company announced the formation of a new strategic planning committee “to identify initiatives that can further accelerate the Company’s transformation.” The members on the committee are Alan Attal, Kurt Wolf, and committee chairperson Ryan Cohen.
What does this mean? Specifically, the committee is responsible for changing GameStop into a technology business, something that Cohen, the former CEO of Chewy, is known for being good at. It’s one of the reasons his appointment to the company’s board of directors last year helped trigger a massive short squeeze on company stock. He’s been asking for this flavor of change from GameStop since his appointment last year, including penning a letter to the board of directors in November saying the company must “promptly pivot” from a focus on physical stores to “a technology-driven vision.”
But Cohen’s not the only interesting figure on this committee. Wolf was one of the key figures in an executive board coup last year that saw a group of activist shareholders effectively take control of the board after a vicious, two-year campaign against existing leadership. A move to e-commerce was one of the key platforms of Wolf’s group of shareholders, as well as an overhaul of executive compensation — which, incidentally, Wolf is also now in charge of thanks to this same committee.
Other actions already taken by this committee have included appointing a new chief technology officer in Amazon Web Services veteran Matt Francis, and forming a plan to find a new chief financial officer after Jim Bell resigned last month. Incidentally, Bloomberg has reported that Cohen himself may be in line for the role.
GameStop stock has surged again today in light of the news, going from an opening of $154.89 to a high today of $210.87 per share, currently sitting at $194.50. Its last surge was in late February a day after Bell’s departure, and has held steady about $100 per share ever since.