New GameStop Chairman Discusses Company Changes

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Becoming a meme stock isn’t doing much for GameStop as a company.

GameStop has become a household name this year thanks to the wild machinations of the WallStreetBets subreddit and the surge of meme investors seeking to punish hedge funds. While this mildly wacky financial fracas has sent GameStop’s stock on a veritable roller coaster, as far as the company itself is concerned, that’s entirely separate matter from what they’re actually dealing with: the very real decline of their business.

Prior to the WallStreetBets incident, GameStop’s business was in a death spiral brought about by a combination of questionable pandemic-era business practices and a long-running unwillingness to adapt to the ever-growing digital distribution of video games versus physical sales. In order to hold back the endless march of time from obliterating them entirely, GameStop’s new chairman, prolific Wall Street investor Ryan Cohen, is planning a complete overhaul of the company.

Cohen’s actual plan is deeply under-wraps, though a couple of rumored elements involve replacing many executive-level staff with senior-level Amazon employees. Speaking of, Cohen has expressed a desire to turn GameStop into the “Amazon of games,” though he hasn’t really specified what that means. Apparently, this is on purpose.

“You won’t find us talking a big game, making a bunch of lofty promises or telegraphing our strategy to the competition,” Cohen told investors on Wednesday at a shareholder meeting. “We know some people want us to lay out a whole detailed plan today, but that’s not going to happen.”

Last year, Cohen sent a letter to the GameStop board, prior to becoming its chairman, outlining the specific problems with the company.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences — not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

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