A GameStop store is pictured in New York, January 29, 2021.
Carlo AllegriI | Reuters
Shares of GameStop surged more than 100% on Wednesday as investors poured into the brick-and-mortar retailer amid a C-suite shake-up.
Shares were halted with less than 30 minutes left in the trading day and the stock ended the day up 103.9%. Shares of GameStop rose 70% in after hours trading on Wednesday.
GameStop announced Tuesday that its chief financial officer Jim Bell will resign on March 26.
“Mr. Bell’s resignation was not because of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices, including accounting principles and practices,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider that Bell did not leave willingly, but was pushed out by Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy who made an investment in GameStop last year in an effort to help the company accelerate its push online.
Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday evening that GameStop’s board pushed Bell out in order to execute its turnaround more quickly, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Cohen’s appointment to the GameStop board helped drive the heavily shorted stock upward in January, which resulted in the epic short squeeze in GameStop that provoked retail trading mania and eventually attention from Congress.
“We acknowledge that leadership changes often follow activist settlements and Mr. Bell’s exit was mutual, non-immediate, and suggests no disagreements with company/board,” Jefferies equity analyst Stephanie Wissink told clients. “We believe Mr. Bell deserves recognition for a series of actions that protected GME equity during the late stages of the last hardware cycle, when sales were down sharply.”
Jefferies added that GameStop will likely look for a CFO replacement with a tech, compared to retail, background, as GameStop focuses on e-commerce growth.
A handful of other Reddit trades rose in after hours trading on Wednesday. Shares of AMC popped 18% and Koss gained 15%.
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