As the Chewification of GameStop continues, perhaps investors should take a closer look at the other Chewy co-founder Michael “Blake” Day and the potential for him to be involved, alongside Volition Capital.

Since reaching an agreement between RC Ventures and GameStop in January, Ryan Cohen has worked almost entirely behind-the-scenes on transforming the retailer, with investors uncertain as to who he consults with towards strategic moves. By looking at Cohen’s past, and the breadcrumbs along the way, GMEdd is able to make a few educated guesses.

Chewy’s “Other” Co-Founder was founded in 2011 by Ryan Cohen and Michael “Blake” Day, hereby referred to as Blake. We know enough about Ryan’s past from the various interviews he has given recalling his time at the pet-focused E-commerce giant, however, we don’t know much about the other founder, Blake. Could he also be involved in the GameStop story?

Blake does not leave much of a trail on the internet. He has a Facebook page, but it doesn’t have a public profile picture. It doesn’t look like he’s on Twitter or Instagram. He does have a LinkedIn page.

Blake’s LinkedIn shows that he was Co-Founder & CTO of Chewy until April 2018, just a month after it was announced Ryan Cohen would be stepping down as CEO. Both Blake and Ryan remained with the company for a year after a $3B payday from PetSmart in 2017.

From past interviews with Ryan Cohen, we know the founders first met through an online Java chat room and shared similar visions for a groundbreaking e-commerce business before starting together, but insight on Blake remains limited beyond this.

In a TechCrunch interview in 2019, Ryan Cohen was asked,

Would you partner again with Michael on a different e-commerce business or maybe a venture outfit?

to which Ryan Cohen responded,

We’re really close. It needs to be the right opportunity obviously, and we need to be picky. But I have no plans to sit in retirement, that’s for sure. I’m 33 and I’m competitive and I like consumer businesses and I like to win.

Ryan is arguably in the midst of his biggest venture yet, so you have to wonder what his former business partner is up to these days.

Back to Blake’s LinkedIn page: The last activity on his account was a liked post from 4 years ago, when Blake still worked for Chewy… until 4 months ago when Blake liked a post sharing a Forbes article about Chewy’s exceptional customer service, dated none other than January 29th, 2021.

Interestingly enough, January 28th was the day buying of NYSE:GME was restricted across several major brokerages including Robinhood. During this time, GameStop was all over the news. Blake knows how to lay low, as indicated by so little out there on the internet about him, but if anything, this recent activity shows he is still using LinkedIn, and coincidentally while one of his former cohorts is at the center of a historical financial market controversy.

Despite Chewy’s headquarters being based in Florida, the company established a small team based in Boston, beginning in temporary spaces before leasing their own 20,000 square foot space in 2017. According to Cohen, Boston was an attractive location to poach tech talent:

Boston is an amazing technology hub and startup hub, with dozens of universities. There’s just a ton of talent. We looked at all of the major US cities when we were planning this office, and Boston was the most competitive — either equal to or better than anywhere else.

Blake Day, serving as the CTO, ran the Boston location. He gave an interview to VentureFizz about the move to Boston, and one might say he sounds a lot like Cohen:

Samantha Rassner served as Chewy’s Vice President of Software Development from September 2015 to February 2018. In a LinkedIn blog post on her exit of the company, Samantha Rassner recounts Blake’s visionary speech. Blake and Ryan sound one and the same here as well.

Chewy’s First Investor

Larry Cheng, co-founder and managing partner of Volition Capital, was the first major investor to back Chewy after the company was turned down numerous times by other firms.

Larry’s investment through Volition was key to the growth and expansion of the company, and as a result, Larry and Ryan remain “fast friends.” While GameStop is a different story than Chewy,  it’s not crazy to think that Volition Capital and Larry Cheng have long been involved in mentoring the turnaround based on these facts alone.

In fact, when Ryan Cohen tweeted a picture of an ice cream cone on February 24, 2021, some drew the connection that it could refer to Volition Capital’s website citing Chewy’s first official board meeting including McDonald’s soft serve. 

Who else would have been present at the first official board meeting? The Co-Founder of course, Blake Day.

Timelines Suggest Volition was Clued in on Ryan’s Plans

Ryan Cohen filed his first 13D for GameStop via RC Ventures LLC on August 28, 2020, disclosing an initial 9% stake. This sparked waves, particularly within value investor circles, as many pondered the E-commerce guru’s investment motives.

What few realize is that Cohen didn’t initially invest in August 2020, but much earlier in April 2019. This can be deduced from the initial 13D, through share counts and averages based on implied price. Rod Alzmann of states that when he inquired with GameStop last year, investor relations confirmed that Cohen had held $GME since April 2019. 

Just one week after Ryan’s public disclosure, on September 4th, 2020, Volition Capital published an insight piece titled Gaming as a Service and Why it Matters, authored by one of the firm’s associates, Claude de Jocas. This also appears to be the first piece of gaming related research the firm has released.

Over the next few weeks, Ryan added to his position twice more until reaching a 9.98% stake, disclosed September 21. Weeks later, on October 9, Volition released a video where Claude de Jocas discusses the future of internet gaming and its growth potential.

Skip ahead just one month, and on November 17, Ryan filed an amendment to his 13D with an attached letter to the GameStop board urging the company to share a credible plan for seizing opportunities in the rapidly growing gaming sector.

PR Blitz

Ryan Cohen was far from being a household name in August of 2020 when he filed his initial stake in GameStop, so many investors started researching him to get a feel for what his plan was. At the time, Ryan had established a website,, that embedded various media appearances and formal interviews the Chewy co-founder had given, but it has since been shut down in December of 2020.

Had the website done its job? 

Retail investing icon Roaring Kitty first stumbles upon Ryan Cohen’s rudimentary homepage during an August 28th, 2020 livestream.  At the time, the deep value investor was merely trying to learn more about the Chewy founder. Most of the content was posted on the site between mid-2019, around Chewy’s IPO and Cohen’s initial GameStop investment, and mid-2020.

Investors could speculate that this may have been a coordinated PR blitz campaign before revealing a large stake in a public company, one that he had already been discreetly acquiring.

Each interview Cohen conducted provided valuable insight into his business strategy, and much of how he described Chewy’s story and his vision could also be applied to GameStop. Was this intentional? In one September 2019 post on Medium, when asked about what’s next, Ryan hinted at something being on the horizon.

I’m only 34, so I certainly haven’t peaked as an entrepreneur yet. Stay tuned.

For more, check out for a compiled model featuring all of Ryan Cohen’s known media appearances and formal interviews.

Okay, where were we? Ryan Cohen started buying into GameStop in April of 2019, with a disclosure following increased holdings in August 2020. It’s unknown as to when he made the decision and how much time was spent beforehand figuring out activist investor logistics coinciding with a PR blitz, but it is reasonable to assume he was strategically building public-facing credibility for himself before revealing his high-stakes investment.

Fast-forward to 2021 and Ryan Cohen now owns 12.9% of GameStop, joins the board, a proclaimed short squeeze event arises national coverage on the retailer prompting a series of congressional hearings, and suddenly everyone knows about r/wallstreetbets.

Amid all of this attention, the company remains quiet but starts undergoing rapid transformation, which was initially visible from the Investor Relations page, but now only seen through activity on LinkedIn — there have been over 30 new hires in tech and E-commerce positions starting in February, just a month after Cohen joined the GameStop board.

Strategic Advisory

On March 2nd, 2021, Volition Capital launched a new Strategic Advisory Board that, “will provide focused guidance to the firm and its portfolio companies regarding strategic direction, investments, executive hiring and development, due-diligence, network and operational strategy, among other areas.” Volition states that the firm had been working on assembling this board for almost a year.

So a venture firm launched a strategic advisory board. Who cares?

Wait, that name is familiar…

That’s right. As of March 2021, Blake is now at the helm of Volition’s Strategic Advisory Board. Blake has largely laid low since his Chewy departure and still lives in Fort Lauderdale according to his Volition Capital bio.

This appears to be the first public role he has taken since leaving Chewy in 2018. Cohencidence?

Volition’s second listed Strategic Advisory Board Member is Raul Fernandez, who serves as Vice Chairman and Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is a private partnership of Washington DC’s major sports franchises including eSports teams.

Early GameStop investors will recognize Raul’s name, because they will have seen it before as well.

GameStop’s May 2020 “Driving Value For All Stockholders” notes that Raul Fernandez serves on GameStop’s board to provide insight into the world of professional eSports on slide 32. 

GameStop claims that Raul Fernandez was appointed to the board  under an agreement with Hestia Capital Partners, L.P. (“Hestia Capital”) and Permit Capital Enterprise Fund, L.P.  (“Permit Capital”), lead by currently outgoing GameStop director and atypical shareholder activist Kurt Wolf.

Hestia Capital and Permit Capital, together with their affiliates, beneficially owned approximately 1.3% of GameStop at this point, and Kurt Wolf, as their Managing Partner, had just sent a letter to GameStop’s board calling for a corporate refresh.

Wolf had been advocating for GameStop’s board to adapt to the times and transform from an underperforming retailer into a forward-thinking company that emphasized long-term growth. He later insists that Raul was placed on the board without any involvement or communication with Permit/Hestia in a May 2020 Restore GameStop presentation deck.

While the GameStop board claimed they began to cooperate with Hestia/Permit in April of 2019, Ryan Cohen began purchasing his initial position in the gaming retailer.

Fernandez still currently serves on GameStop’s board, and filings reveal he will be stepping down at the Annual General Meeting on June 9th, as Ryan Cohen takes the reigns as incoming Chairman of the Board. 

On April 8th, 2021, just one month after Blake and Raul’s appointment to Volition’s Strategic Advisory Board, GameStop announced Larry Cheng from Volition Capital as a candidate for its board of directors for the company’s upcoming annual meeting .

What now?

There’s no denying that GameStop and Volition could be tied together in some way. Larry Cheng, Volition’s Managing Partner, will likely be granted his seat on GameStop’s board in June, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Blake come out of secrecy in the future as well. 

The big question remains: What are these guys planning?

Jenna guest wrote this article exclusively for GMEdd, Toast edited and contributed

Sources: Chewy on Crunchbase, Michael Day on LinkedIn, Vox, TechCrunch, Forbes, BostonGlobe, VentureFizz,, Samantha Rassner on LinkedIn, Larry Cheng Profile at Volition Capital, Chewy’s Portfolio at Volition Capital, Ryan Cohen on Twitter, Volition Capital Vimeo, Wayback MachineSEC Report, Volition Capital Vimeo, RC Ventures Letter to the Board, Medium, Volition Capital,, GameStop News Release, GameStop News Release

Is Ryan Cohen calling himself a dumbass? What does that make all of us?

The Incoming Chairman of GameStop has tweeted once again.

At 9:41 PM EST on May 28, 2021, Ryan Cohen shared a gravestone generated at stating his apparent demise.

The tweet sent out by Ryan Cohen.


Ryan Cohen would not have been able to send out this tweet if he had truly passed, so we are lead to believe he’s sending a message, whether it be for laughs or discreet communication.

By using the same website used by Ryan, GMEdd was able to determine that Cohen did not enter his name in the slot that says “Some Name”. He entered his name in the slot that says messages. It is not his tombstone, but he is potentially sending a message.

Speculative investors were quick to point out an uncanny coincidence relating Ryan Cohen’s tombstone to a term used in the financial industry.

tombstone is a type of print notice that is most often used in the financial industry to formally announce a particular transaction, such as an initial public offering or placement of stock of a company.

Some believe that this could have been Ryan Cohen’s under-the-radar announcement of a finalized merger or acquisition, something that GMEdd has previously described as in the realm of possibility since GameStop has paid off their long-term debt.

Could GameStop be merging with RC Ventures?  This would potentially result in a new CUSIP for GameStop Corp., leaving remaining shorts needing to be covered before a deadline date so all outstanding shares can be traded from NYSE:GME to the new CUSIP. This is unlikely, but an interesting theory that may wrinkle your brain.

The fundamental investors at GMEdd are really hoping that GameStop has a great strategic acquisition in place that will help transform the brick-and-mortar retailer into the technology company that the Form 10-k announced it would become in March, and that it has hired for.

Source: Ryan Cohen on Twitter, Wikipedia

Found through internet sleuthing, unveils what will become GameStop’s venture into the rapidly growing crypto and non-fungible token space.

In April, covered how GameStop was beginning to look for talent in the rapidly growing NFT sector, and it is now official.

The website, although minimal, asks for those interested in working on the project to reach out. 

GameStop looks to be working with Ethereum’s chain for this project, judging by their usage of the Ethereum logo.

A potential slogan for the project is also unveiled:

Power to the players.
Power to the creators.
Power to the collectors.

There is also a crypto wallet address listed on the site, featuring the gamer code “1337.” The address begins with 1337420.

0x13374200c29C757FDCc72F15Da98fb94f286d71e reveals that this address is associated with a GameStop Token, and also features an ascii-art message for those “anons” who took the time to look it up.

Within the source code, on line 936, the launch date of GameStop Token is revealed, in unicode: 1626261600

This indicates that GameStop token has a public launch date of July 14th, 2021, at 4:20 AM PT. also reveals that the first GameStop Token was minted only 28 minutes after Ryan Cohen’s American Dad .gif tweet last night. A total of .42069 ETH was transferred to a multisignature wallet contract, which is a way of setting up a wallet that may need more than one signature to authorize transactions.

"description": "Gamestop NFT", 
"external_url": "",
 "image": "ipfs://QmaLEchFaE7FWhc4MCvYMqoTdK8rV1yfjEC5Bz4jzQRbjS",
 "name": "Gamestop NFT" 

Engineers and nerds alike have discovered that GameStop is hosting this webpage on IPFS, an incredibly forward-thinking initiative for the company. IPFS is essentially a decentralized internet, which protects developers from single-point-of-failure risks. You can read more on it here on 

Christopher Bell, GameStop’s Senior Product Manager, Blockchain & Smart Contracts, has announced that he’s happy to be a part of the NFTeam at GameStop. 

Power to the Players!

Hidden in the top right of the webpage is a dead pixel that links to a game reminiscent of the dinosaur jumping game from Google Chrome, but this time it’s a banyana, a cat in a banana. This is likely a nod to Roaring Kitty and the “ape” movement.

In the game, the further you progress, the closer you arrive to a full moon in the sky.

Source: GameStop NFT,

June 2nd 2021 Editorial Update:  Clarification on the first GameStop Token transaction.

Ryan Cohen has tweeted once again. 

Revealing yet another comedy interest, the tweet features a .gif from a scene in American Dad. In the .gif, the character Steve is saved from drowning by floating up through something rising in his shorts.

Shortly after the scene in the .gif from American Dad! Season 11 Episode 2, The Life Aquatic with Steve Smith, Steve says, “I’m better than okay. It took me being underwater to finally see things clearly.” The scene can be watched here.

The tweet’s caption works to cover Cohen legally, just in case anyone wants to attempt it.

Don’t try this at home

Some investors and tinfoil-hatters speculate that the caption, combined with the .gif,  could be in reference to GameStop’s rising value.

“Don’t use your shorts to get out from underwater”

Share your theories on what the tweet could signify in the comments and on the GMEdd Discord server.

The “hiring frenzy” first coined by GameStop VP, Marketing Evan Smith in a Feb 2021 LinkedIn post highlighted by has progressed, revealing GameStop’s success in acquiring new talent at a rate that can be compared to the likes of the hottest new startup.

According to LinkedIn data, since the appointment of GameStop CTO Matt Francis in February, we count over 30 new hires who bring experience from a cross section of high growth e-commerce stars Chewy, Amazon, Zulily and Arteza.

The rate appears to be accelerating, with new ex-tech hires in May so far exceeding April and March.

An opportunity too good to pass up

Digging deeper, we can discover some motivations as to what would compel someone to make such a career move. Skyler Ramirez, an Amazon veteran of 8 years, left his most recent Data Engineering Leader position at Facebook after just 9 months to jump ship to GameStop.

In a post via LinkedIn the Vice President informed his connections that it was extremely hard to say goodbye to Facebook, but “sometimes a new opportunity comes along that is too good to pass up.” Ramirez also shared he will be hiring several roles on his team as soon as next week.

Ramirez’s new role of VP, Instock at GameStop is not yet defined on his profile, but his personal About section provides some insight as to his experience and skillset.

A versatile leader with over a decade of post-graduate experience leading business, product, and technical (including big data) teamsA problem-solver who takes on work others view as too hard or too risky, and drives hundreds of millions of dollars in growth and savings. A builder who uses high judgement and analytics to take products and initiatives from concept to execution and set them up for long-term success.

For ex-Amazon turned GameStop Chief Growth Officer Elliott Wilke, part of the appeal of working at GameStop was revealed commenting that he has put his corporate blazer “back in the closet for good” while posing in a snappy new GameStop branded hoodie in a recently updated LinkedIn profile photo.

The changing of the guard is not limited to new appointments, with departures going beyond the high profile Executive Vice President group. GameStop Chief Digital Officer, Dhritiman Saha left in April after just over a year in the role further suggesting GameStop’s new direction in this area.

Proprietary Brands to fuel further growth

As well as the developments taking place in E-Commerce, Logistics and Customer Service, this new direction seems to include a focus on Private Label with GameStop Vice President of Private Label and Global Sourcing, Kevin Kennedy leaving Chewy in April to take on this new role.

Chewy revealed in their Q4 and Fiscal Year 2020 Letter to Shareholders they achieved gross margin improvements driven by greater penetration rates into higher-margin verticals such as proprietary brands which doubled year over year.

We can infer that GameStop intends to follow a similar path of Chewy and develop in-house brands with higher margins and less dependencies on third parties as just one more contributing part to their ongoing transformation.

What to make of it all

Tech and E-Commerce executives looking to be a part of something are leaving blue-chips in droves to fulfill Cohen’s vision. The public has not yet been made informed exactly what the roadmap entails, but this level of excitement amongst new hires is unmatched. 

GameStop is gearing up for a transformation that will be studied in universities for years to come.

The Data

When Ryan Cohen was asked how he finds his management teams during a 2018 Miami Herald interview, he gave his endorsement for LinkedIn.

We use a special proprietary tool called LinkedIn and we look for people with very relevant experience at companies we respect and we shoot them a message. … We hand-picked these people. They are the best of the best, the Navy Seals of management teams.

While Amazon and Chewy may be household names, Arteza is the leading direct to consumer arts & crafts supplies brand offering art enthusiasts and hobbyists high quality supplies at affordable price points across a variety of categories. Larry Cheng, one of GameStop’s incoming board members, invested in the startup, just as he did Chewy when Ryan Cohen approached him.

It appears that GameStop has replaced Arteza as a destination of choice, with many who moved from Chewy to Arteza to join Kelli Durkin, GameStop’s Senior Vice President, Customer Service and former Arteza CXO, following her yet again from Arteza to GameStop.

GMEdd has sourced the employment information using the very techniques Ryan Cohen is known to use in his own headhunting. Check out our data below and visit our Report and Models page for the latest updates.

vestro guest wrote this article exclusively for GMEdd, Toast contributed

Sources: GameStop Corp. on LinkedIn, Volition Capital, Chewy Investor Relations

June 1st 2021 Editorial Update: Visit  to view a continuously updated model for GameStop Corp.’s LinkedIn hires. 

Ryan Cohen has tweeted once again.

He’s starting to tweet so much that we should probably stop covering each post. But alas, here’s our understanding of it.

At 12:02 PM EST, Ryan Cohen sent out a red heart to his over 161k Twitter followers. 

Ryan Cohen’s tweet on May 19th, 2021.

The surface-level meaning here is that Cohen is sharing some love for his loyal fans and investors. Thanks Cohen! ❤️

On the other hand, at 10:42 AM EST Elon Musk tweeted an implication that Tesla had “diamond hands” on their Bitcoin, amid rumors that it had offloaded the digital gold.

This is after Ryan Cohen had unfollowed the Technoking just 6 days ago.

When Roaring Kitty doubled down his GameStop position in April, Ryan Cohen seemingly responded with a simple one emoji tweet: a fist bump.

Ryan Cohen had also followed and unfollowed Roaring Kitty at one time.

While Elon Musk acknowledges the r/WallstreetBets community (the same community that famously picked up on Ryan Cohen’s GameStop investment while the majority of the mainstream media ignored it) through the use of the diamond hands emojis, Ryan Cohen could be responding to his support of both cryptocurrency and WSB.

GameStop has also expressed interest in crypto as early as April, revealed through a job posting on the company’s official career listings page.

Ryan Cohen has not re-followed Elon Musk at this time, and it is likely this is all just a coincidence, but what are investors if not speculators?

Source: Ryan Cohen on Twitter, Elon Musk on Twitter

While investors speculate whether or not GameStop is going to the moon, GameStop packs its bags for a trip to Florida.

Job postings on GameStop’s website, along with activity on LinkedIn and Twitter from employees, seem to be hinting towards a South Florida-based customer support center for GameStop.

Career Listings

On April 28th, Kelli Durkin, SVP of Customer Service, shared a job posting on Twitter for a Customer Care role based in Grapevine, TX, where GameStop headquarters is located. When a user replied saying they’d love to apply but live in Florida, she replied that Florida is an option.

Just six days later on May 4th, GameStop posted a job listing for a Customer Care Support role based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

We are looking for individuals to manage multiple contact channels simultaneously, phone calls, email, chat and possibly social media. You may also help our store and field leaders via phone. The right candidate will have an infectious personality, a desire to engage in meaningful conversation, the ability to think critically on-their-feet, and a passion for genuinely helping others. Having love for gaming is an added bonus!

On May 8th, Ryan Cohen retweeted the post from Durkin, his first retweet since joining the board of GameStop.

On May 17th, job listings for Training Specialist I & II in Grapevine appeared, noting the positions may be remote but must be in the South Florida area if so.

Sometime later in the day, the same two positions were added again to the careers page, but with a Tallahassee address.

LinkedIn Activity

When Ryan Cohen was asked how he finds his management teams during a 2018 Miami Herald interview, he gave his endorsement for LinkedIn.

We use a special proprietary tool called LinkedIn and we look for people with very relevant experience at companies we respect and we shoot them a message. … We hand-picked these people. They are the best of the best, the Navy Seals of management teams.

Kelli Durkin, SVP of Customer Service for GameStop and the woman responsible for building Chewy’s brand reputation into what it is today, still has Miami-Fort Lauderdale Area listed as her LinkedIn location despite working for Texas-based GameStop since March and being active on the platform.

Robbie Lowenbein, Director of Continuous Improvement at GameStop and former Chewy employee, has Tampa FL as his LinkedIn location for GameStop, and recently posted a customer support role for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.

Wes Burke, GameStop’s Vice President of Human Resources, has also shared a bullish post on LinkedIn describing the customer care team as located in Dallas/Fort Worth as well as Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Want to join the biggest transformation in retail history!?! ????????????


It’s worth noting that Chewy started in South Florida and still operates the business from the Fort Lauderdale area.  Chewy employs over 17,000 people nationwide, with 3,000 in South Florida, making it one of the largest locally based employers in the region.

With an office nearby, GameStop could easily tap into Chewy’s talent pool. GameStop has been recruiting hordes of former Chewy employees, and it is possible that the lack of forced relocation has been a major incentive.

GameStop has not made any announcements regarding a Florida-based customer center, despite job postings and LinkedIn activity pointing to it.

Jenna guest wrote this article exclusively for GMEdd, Toast contributed

Sources: Kelli Durkin on Twitter, GameStop on LinkedIn, Wes Burke on LinkedIn, Robbie Loewenbein on LinkedIn, MiamiHerald