Activist investor Ryan Cohen was named GameStop Corp.’s CEO on Thursday, sparking celebration from his supporters and fans of the video-game retailer and original meme-stock company on social media.
“What Ryan Cohen is doing is changing the paradigm on Wall Street,” tweeted @JamesDrgme. “This is just the beginning for 2.0.”
“This is bullish for $GME,” tweeted @ChuckHodl.
“Love this!!! @ryancohen is going to do great things with $GME that no one will ever see coming!” tweeted @DOMOCapital.
“My guys the real Triple Threat @ryancohen,” tweeted @GeneralACG1544. “3 jobs for no compensation, did someone say Work?”
In its statement announcing Cohen’s election as CEO, GameStop
confirmed that he will not receive compensation for serving as the company’s president, chief executive and chairman.
Cohen, the co-founder and former CEO of Chewy Inc.
made his first investment in GameStop in August 2020 via his investment firm RC Ventures. News of Cohen’s 9% stake in the gaming retailer sent its stock surging. The activist investor quickly began pushing for an overhaul of GameStop, with a focus on digital sales, and he joined the company’s board in January 2021. He consolidated his power at GameStop when he became the company’s chairman in June 2021.
In an interview with @Toast last year Cohen described his approach to CEO roles. “If I’m the CEO I’ll basically work myself to death and I can’t control myself,” he said.
Earlier this year Cohen launched a blistering attack on corporate America during the annual meeting for the video-game retailer and sometime-meme-stock darling. The activist investor stepped into the spotlight at the GameStop meeting, just a week after the company announced the firing of Chief Executive Matthew Furlong and Cohen’s election as executive chairman.
“My responsibility is making sure GameStop is run by managers who treat company money like their own,” Cohen said. “In corporate America, the people in charge, the professional directors and management teams, are not aligned with shareholders.”
GameStop shares rose 8% in premarket trades Thursday. The stock is down 7.1% this year, compared with the S&P 500 index’s
gain of 11.3%.
The meme-stock phenomenon that sent shares of GameStop skyrocketing to dizzying heights in 2021 is getting the Hollywood treatment in the new movie “Dumb Money,” which hit select theaters Friday.
GameStop, like fellow meme-stock darling AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC, was a major beneficiary of the meme-stock buying frenzy in January 2021. Boosted by the WallStreetBets crowd on Reddit, the struggling video game retailer’s shares were sent soaring. Between January and March 2021, GameStop’s stock price rose more than 1,200% and the company’s market cap surpassed $17 billion. GameStop’s market cap is now $5.12 billion.