GameStop Adds Another Amazon Executive to Team; Shares Climb
(Bloomberg) -- GameStop Corp. shares rose after the company named Elliott Wilke as chief growth officer, the latest in a string of senior executive appointments, and part of a corporate overhaul by activist investor and board member Ryan Cohen.
In addition to Wilke, the video-game retailer also named Andrea Wolfe as vice president of brand development and Tom Petersen as vice president of merchandising to help implement Cohen’s strategy of turning the brick-and-mortar chain into an e-commerce powerhouse.
Wilke joins from Amazon.com, where he spent the past seven years, and will start on April 5, while Wolfe and Petersen were previously at Chewy Inc. and joined the company effective Monday.
The move makes it appear that Cohen is acting as chief executive officer, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said by email. “It is impossible to believe that George [Sherman] would have made these decisions without prompting from Cohen.”
Shares of GameStop rose 7.3% to $194.46 Tuesday. About 17 million shares changed hands in the session, half of what’s been seen over the past 30 days.
Prior to Tuesday’s appointments, Cohen had brought in a number of new executives, including a chief technology officer and Chewy’s former vice president of customer care. GameStop’s chief financial officer was pushed out last month as part of the revamp, and was followed last week by another senior executive.
GameStop, based in the Dallas suburbs, has suffered with the video-game industry’s shift to online distribution. With gamers downloading more and more -- or at least ordering software and gear via e-commerce -- there’s less reason to make a trip to a physical store.
Last week, the roller-coaster stock championed by Reddit-based traders, reported disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and hinted at the possibility it may sell additional shares to take advantage of soaring demand. GameStop has rallied more than 900% so far this year.
GameStop trading has been a roller-coaster ride over the past five weeks as the retail darling saw a second wave of euphoria from amateur investors. The stock soared through the first ten days of March before experiencing bouts of heightened volatility as Reddit-armed retail traders sparred with short sellers.
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