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GameStop Names Ryan Cohen CEO — for a $0 Salary

GameStop store
EricBVD-stock.Adobe.com

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was published on Sept. 28.

Just months after firing its previous CEO, Matt Furlong, GameStop has named Ryan Cohen to the post, adding the title to his roles as the company’s President and Chairman of the board of directors. In an unusual move, Cohen, an activist investor and Co-founder of Chewy, will receive no salary.

His refusal to take a salary is in line with Cohen’s plans for the retailer: he reportedly sent an email to corporate employees and GameStop store leaders that stressed “extreme frugality” as the key to keeping the retailer in business, according to CNBC, which obtained a copy of the memo: “Our job is to make sure GameStop is here for decades to come,” Cohen wrote. “Extreme frugality is required. Every expense at the company must be scrutinized under a microscope and all waste eliminated. The company has no use for delegators and money wasters. I expect everyone to treat company money like their own and lead by example.”

GameStop generated net sales of $1.16 billion during its Q2 2023, which ended July 30, a 2.4% increase over the same period the previous year. The retailer also shrank its net loss significantly during this period, from $50.5 million in Q1 2023 to $2.8 million in Q2.

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The volatile retailer has shuffled its C-suite several times over the past few years; in addition to Furlong’s abrupt departure in July 2023, the company has gone through three CFOs since July 2022. GameStop’s stock was at the center of a drama in early 2021, with non-institutional investors pushing the price high despite the retailer’s uneven performance, forcing hedge funds that had been betting against the retailer to lose billions. The saga was the inspiration for the new movie Dumb Money.

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