Alongside the release of its latest earnings report, GameStop has fired its president and chief executive officer, Matthew Furlong. Furlong took the reins of CEO almost two years ago to the day.
No explanation for the move was provided, but it is effective immediately, as of the Board’s decision on June 5. The news follows the firing of CFO Michael Recupero last year.
Because Furlong was terminated “without cause,” he’ll be entitled to a number of benefits as outlined back in June 2021. That includes six months of his base salary (he earned $200,000 annually, among many other bonuses). He also resigned as a member of GameStop’s Board of Directors, which has now shrunk to five seats. His “resignation did not result from any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” the company said in its statement.
Furlong oversaw the company during a tumultuous period, as it has struggled to adjust to the changing gaming landscape, investing in areas such as NFTs and laying off numerous employees. He took over less than six months after the GameStop share price saw a massive spike and became a meme stock. (Sony is releasing a movie about the situation later this year.) That share price has been in fairly steady decline since that time, going from a high of over $81 to the current price of $26.11. In after-hours trading today, some combination of the earnings report and Furlong’s dismissal have led to more than a 20% decline, to under $21.
Mark Robinson, GameStop’s general counsel, will immediately assume the role of general manager and principal executive officer, in addition to continuing as general counsel. Ryan Cohen, the former Chewy executive who has attempted to remake the company since 2021, was named executive chairman.
GameStop has gone through a number of CEOs in recent years. J. Paul Raines resigned in early 2018 before his death several months later. The company then briefly had an interim CEO (Daniel DeMatteo), who was succeeded by another CEO (Michael Mauler) in February 2018, only for him to resign three months later–with DeMatteo replacing him again as interim CEO. Shane Kim then took over as interim CEO later in the month, with George Sherman becoming CEO in March 2019. He remained in the role until Cohen entered the picture and Furlong was named CEO in June 2021.
As for GameStop’s first-quarter earnings, net sales were $1.237 billion during the period, which consists of the three months ending on April 29, 2023. That’s down from $1.378 billion during the same period last year, although it suffered a net loss of $50.5 million, down from the $157.9 loss during the first quarter of 2022. A scheduled conference call with investors, which would normally follow the release of an earnings report, was canceled.
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