GameStop hires Amazon, Chewy and QVC vets to transform its business
GameStop, which has mostly made headlines in recent weeks when investors drove the struggling video game retailer’s stock higher to hurt hedge funds that were betting on its demise, isn’t ready to give up on itself yet as evidenced by new hires with strong professional pedigrees.
Matt Francis has been named to the newly-created position of Chief Technology Officer at GameStop. Mr. Francis, who will start on Feb. 15, brings with him more than two decades of experience working in e-commerce and consumer technology. Most recently, he was engineering lead at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Before that he worked in senior technology positions at QVC and Zulily. He will be responsible for overseeing all e-commerce and technology functions at GameStop.
Mr. Francis will be joined at GameStop in March by Kelli Durkin as senior vice president of customer care and Josh Krueger as vice president of fulfillment.
Ms. Durkin previously worked as vice president of customer service at Chewy, the pet retailer known for its personal approach to serving its loyal customers. She will be responsible for all customer engagement and service initiatives in her new role.
Mr. Kreuger has worked in senior fulfillment positions at Amazon, Walmart and QVC. His role at GameStop will be to oversee the management of the retailer’s e-fulfillment centers.
The recent hires appear to be the handiwork of board member and activist investor Ryan Cohen. Mr. Cohen, who co-founded Chewy, has been encouraging GameStop’s leadership to focus on digital sales and become a company that “delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences” rather than one that “concentrates on its brick-and-mortar footprint and [stumbling] around in the online ecosystem.”
GameStop has seen its stock go on a rollercoaster ride, its share price going from under $20 on Jan. 20 to as high as $483 on Jan. 28. The retailer’s stock closed up 2.41 percent yesterday at $92.41 on news of its executive hires. Premarket trading in GameStop saw its shares rise to $93.94.
The retailer posted a 16.5 percent gain in same-store sales buoyed by a 257 percent gain in digital during the third quarter ending October 31.
GameStop, which has not yet announced the full results for its fourth quarter, did release worldwide numbers for the first nine weeks that showed comps up 4.8 percent and digital up 309 percent. The chain’s store count fell by 11 percent during the period, contributing to an overall year-over-year decline of 3.1 percent.
- GameStop Appoints Chief Technology Officer – GameStop
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- What does GameStop’s wild stock ride mean for retail? – RetailWire
- GameStop Corp. – Yahoo Finance
- GameStop Reports Third Quarter Results, A Positive Start to Fourth Quarter with November Comparable Store Sales Increasing 16.5% And Sustained Progress Toward Long-Term Strategic Objectives – GameStop Corp.
- GameStop Reports 2020 Holiday Sales Results – GameStop Corp./Globe Newswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you encouraged about GameStop’s prospects based on its apparent change in its strategic focus and new additions to its board and leadership team? What impact do you think its new hires are likely to have on GameStop’s in-store business as well as its digital ops?