GameStop is planning to appoint the billionaire investor Ryan Cohen to the role of chairman, the retailer has announced. GameStop said it intends to elect Cohen to the position at GameStop’s annual stockholder meeting in June.
Cohen founded the pet food company Chewy and was one of GameStop’s single largest personal investors when, in 2020, he called for dramatic changes to GameStop’s business model to help turn the ship around. GameStop would later promote him to a board of directors position at GameStop, and now he’s becoming the overall chairman.
Cohen holds a 12.9% stake in GameStop through his RC Ventures company. He will succeed Kathy Vrabeck, the current GameStop chairperson who is not seeking reelection. Cohen is considered by many to be a central figure in GameStop’s Reddit stock price story that saw its share price surge dramatically.
Additionally, GameStop said Alan Attal, Larry Cheng, Jim Grube, Yang Xu, and George Sherman will be in the running to join the board of directors at the June meeting. This will be a huge shakeup for GameStop’s board, with existing members like former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime expected to leave the board in June.
In addition to electing Cohen as chairman, GameStop plans to announce at the June meeting that all board of directors members will be paid through equity instead of cash. Additionally, all compensation for directors will be reduced by 28% compared to last year.
As for the board members who are expected to be elected in June, Cheng is the co-founder and managing parter of the venture capital firm Volition Capital. Xu is a senior vice president for global finance at the Kraft Heinz Company. The others were already on the board.
In other news, GameStop recently announced a plan to sell 3.5 million shares to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to help accelerate its transformation strategy.
GameStop has big plans to turn things around, and this buyback could help give the company the cash it needs to execute on its strategy. The retailer recently hired a “Growth Officer” whose job it will be to oversee GameStop’s transition. GameStop also just hired new brand development and merchandising executives to help with this move.