GameStop’s Short-Lived CFO to Leave With $30 Million Package

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Jim Bell, the GameStop Corp. finance chief who is being pushed out after less than two years on the job, won’t be leaving empty-handed.

The executive will get $15.8 million when he departs, which is set for next month, and he could earn millions more from equity in coming years if activist investor Ryan Cohen can pull off a turnaround of the video-game retailer.

While the terms of Bell’s payout are fairly standard for a departing executive, the value of his potential exit package is high -- partly a product of the GameStop rally in January that’s left the stock worth more than double what it was at the end of 2020.

Bell’s contract entitles him to $2.8 million in severance and an immediate payout of restricted shares worth $13 million when he departs, according to regulatory filings and calculations by Bloomberg News.

He also holds a couple of equity awards that are tied to goals spanning several years. Filings show he could collect at least 300,000 shares, depending on how the company does. They were worth $13.8 million as of Tuesday’s close.

All the equity awards were granted to him over the last couple of years as part of his normal compensation, and came with vesting periods stretching as far as 2023. GameStop’s shares rose 9.4% to $49.20 at 10:38 a.m. on Wednesday in New York.

Cohen, the billionaire co-founder of pet-supply company Chewy, has pushed GameStop to rethink its business and compete with Amazon.com Inc. more directly. He’s the company’s second-largest shareholder and won three board seats in January.

The company is now seeking a finance chief who is more in line with that vision, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. Bell, who was hired in June 2019, is slated to leave by March 26.

Bell’s departure from GameStop will be his third exit from a company in less than five years, according to his LinkedIn. He didn’t respond to a request for comment.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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