Video game retailer GameStop has fired its CEO and reinstalled board chairman Ryan Cohen as its top executive.
The company didn’t give a reason for Matthew Furlong’s termination, which was contained in a three-sentence announcement after trading markets closed Wednesday. A later regulatory filing said Furlong was fired Monday.
Cohen, who wrested control of the Texas-based company after waging an activist investor campaign that began in September 2020, will take charge of capital allocation and oversee the management team as executive chairman, according to the company. He previously served as board chairman.
Furlong joined GameStop in July 2021 from Amazon, where he oversaw the e-commerce giant’s business in Australia. He was one of several former Amazon executives Cohen brought in to accelerate a digital transformation for the company.
His firing comes only months after GameStop reported its first quarterly profit in two years, after cutting jobs and closing brick-and-mortar stores. It had struggled for years before that to adjust as game sales increasingly shifted online.
But the company’s revenue took a hit in its just-ended fiscal first quarter and it once again reported a quarterly loss. Sales totaled $1.237 billion for the three-month period, compared to $1.378 billion a year ago. It lost $50.5 million in the period.
The company had been expected to benefit from a wave of video game releases, including Nintendo’s new and wildly popular The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The game launched May 12 and sold more than 10 million units worldwide in its first three days.
Cohen, GameStop’s largest shareholder with 12% of the stock, is the founder of Chewy.com. He began buying up GameStop shares in 2020 and eventually ousted the management team and brought in his own hires, including Furlong.
His involvement sparked a historic runup in the company’s stock in 2021 as retail investors jumped aboard and sent GameStop shares soaring in a highly-publicized meme stock craze. Shares plummeted nearly 20% in after-hours trading Wednesday after closing at $26.11.
In addition to Cohen becoming executive chairman, the company appointed Mark H. Robinson as general manager and principal executive officer. He’ll report directly to Cohen.
Robinson, 44, the company’s vice president and general counsel since January 2022, will be responsible for administrative matters, corporate development, legal affairs and support for GameStop’s holdings. He’s worked for GameStop since 2015.