GameStop CFO to quit after Reddit-driven stock market rally

A GameStop store is pictured in New York, January 29, 2021.

Carlos Allegri | Reuters

GameStop chief financial officer Jim Bell will step down next month, the video game retailer said on Tuesday, as it focuses on shifting to tech-driven sales following big bets that are making the one of the newspapers in his stock.

GameStop said Bell’s resignation was not due to a disagreement with the company regarding its operations, including accounting principles and practices.

However, a source said that while Bell’s exit was unrelated to the recent wild swings in GameStop shares spurred by retail marketers on social media site Reddit, his departure was initiated by the company.

The source, a person familiar with the company’s thinking, said

GameStop had grown dissatisfied with Bell as it struggled to transform itself into a technology-focused company and was unconvinced that he would be the right CFO going forward.

Bell, who will leave the company on March 26, previously worked at brick-and-mortar retailers Gap and Coldwater Creek and restaurant chain PF Chang’s China Bistro, according to his LinkedIn profile. He did not respond to requests for comment.

GameStop shares fell about 5% to $42.75 in extended trading following the announcement. The stock is up around 140% this year, after paring most of the gains that caused short sellers to scramble to cover losing bets and saw the company hit a record high of $482.95.

GameStop has also been targeted by shareholders who have pushed it to focus more on digital sales rather than its mall locations.

New directors focused on this strategy recently joined its board and the source said these additions have helped create more momentum for the CFO transition.

GameStop said it has begun looking for a permanent chief financial officer, adding that it will appoint chief accounting officer Diana Jajeh as interim chief financial officer if a permanent replacement is not found before Bell leaves.

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