GameStop has announced the resignation of its chief financial officer of two years, Jim Bell.
The announcement was made via a press release issued on Tuesday, February 23. Per the release, Bell – who also serves as the company’s executive vice president – will relinquish his roles on March 26.
GameStop has said in an SEC filing that “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”.
However, according to a report by Forbes, a source close to the situation has said that “Bell was pushed out because the board lost faith in his ability to help shift the company to an e-commerce focus”.
GameStop has announced that it has begun looking for a permanent replacement for Bell with “the capabilities and qualifications to help accelerate GameStop’s transformation”.
Bell’s resignation comes about a month after the trading market frenzy, where a standoff between a group of investors in the r/WallStreetBets sub-reddit and short sellers – notably Melvin Capital Management – drove the price of the company’s shares from well under US$100 to an eye-watering $347.51 at the end of January. This has since fallen to $44.97 at press time.
In the event that a permanent replacement cannot be found by March 26, the company has announced that it will appoint current senior vice president and chief accounting officer Diana Jajeh as the interim CFO.
Last November, Bell was criticised along with the rest of the GameStop board by the company’s largest stakeholder, Ryan Cohen. Cohen wrote a letter to the company in which he called for it to evolve from a video game retailer with a brick-and-mortar footprint into a tech brand that delivers digital experiences to gamers.
It is currently unsure if Cohen’s call for a strategic shift in business model is the “transformation” that the company has alluded to in its press release regarding Bell’s resignation.
In other news, the GameStop stock market saga is being turned into a feature film as film company MGM reportedly acquired a book proposal from New York Times best-selling author Ben Mezrich in late January.