GameStop’s CFO is out after just about a year, and an internal memo within the company has laid out a plan towards profitability.

GameStop has fired its Chief Financial Officer, Mike Recupero, and is making staff cuts across departments as part of an aggressive turnaround plan, the video game retailer revealed Thursday.

Mike Recupero, a seasoned technology industry finance executive who spent more than 17 years at Amazon, was announced as the incoming CFO on June 9th, 2021 under Chairman Ryan Cohen’s guidance.

The sudden departure of Recupero appears less-than-amicable, as GameStop’s Form 8-K filing reveals he was terminated without cause effective immediately.

GameStop’s Form 8-K filed July 7th, 2022.

Simultaneous to Recupero’s termination, long standing Chief Accounting Officer Diana Saadeh-Jajeh has assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer.

She will have a starting annual salary of $200,000, according to the filing, and will be eligible for a “transformation bonus” in an aggregate amount of $1,965,000.

Hands off Mike

After about a year with the company, Recupero was “fired because he was not the right culture fit” and was “too hands off,” a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

He was pushed out by GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen, the person said.

In May, GameStop Board Member Larry Cheng stated that a down market tests whether the Chief Financial Officer is a leader. He went on to state that a culture-driving CFO can be a huge asset to companies in these down markets.

Larry Cheng on Twitter on May 11, 2022

“A down market tests whether the CFO is a leader. If the CFO is more of a back-office administrator playing a support role, companies can falter during these times. If the CFO is a culture-driving, agenda-setting leader, it can be a huge asset to companies in down markets.”

Cheng’s belief that a CFO acting more as a back-office administrator playing a support role can lead to a company faltering during a down market sounds familiar to the claims that Recupero was terminated for being “too hands off,” leading us to speculate that Cheng’s tweet was indicative of the situation at GameStop.

The Board Member also shared some evolving theory and observation related to CFOs on Twitter in January.

Larry Cheng on Twitter on January 31, 2022

“Evolving theory/observation: CFOs who know the key metrics of their business usually present to the board through organized slides. CFOs who aren’t sure about the key metrics often present to the board by navigating an extensive spreadsheet.”

The tweet from January indicates Cheng’s expectations for CFOs. The board member expects financial officers to present their key metrics in an organized manner, and that navigating extensive spreadsheets instead is a lack of understanding.

Larry Cheng’s Volition Capital is invested in a number of businesses so there is little evidence these tweets are about Recupero, but they say a lot about Cheng’s values.

Read more about Larry Cheng’s past, including his early investment in Ryan Cohen’s Chewy and mentorship to the ambitious entrepreneur here.

Organizational Updates

GameStop is also undergoing several organizational updates, including layoffs and investing in field employees, in a strive towards profitability.

The layoffs, which were announced by CEO Matt Furlong in an email memo to all employees, are on the corporate side of the company rather than at its stores, and are intended to “reduce bloat” as GameStop invests in other areas.

GameStop’s internal memo sent after market close on July 7th.

Furlong’s memo begins by highlighting the company’s evolving commerce business and new products in the company’s launching blockchain group.

The Chief Executive goes on to state that the company is now focused on achieving sustained profitability.

“After investing heavily in personnel, technology, inventory and supply chain infrastructure over the past 18 months, our focus is on achieving sustained profitability. This means eliminating excess costs and operating with an intense owner’s mentality.”

The CEO also contextualizes the cuts, and says the company has made 600 corporate hires since last year. Moving forward, the company will invest in store leaders and field employees, although specifics are yet to be announced.

The memo claims the hiring frenzy of last year and the first half of 2022 has positioned management to “right-size headcount” across several corporate departments.

To conclude, Furlong states that the changes will enable the company to operate in a profitable manner as it executes the strategy of pursuing sales growth and new product launches.

“These changes will enable us to operate in a profitable manner as we execute against our strategy of pursuing sales growth in our commerce business and launching new products that empower customers within the digital asset and web3 gaming verticals.”

word on the block

Several employees have made their layoffs known on LinkedIn, including Senior Directors and Software Engineers.

Pierre Dunkel, a former Director of Finance at GameStop, offered to help review resumes and engage in mock interviews for his coworkers.

LinkedIn posts by former GameStop employees on July 7th, 2022.

Dunkel also states that he is “not sure if anyone is left at the Seattle office at this point.”

GameStop had only recently expanded to Seattle, Washington, as part of an initiative uncovered by GMEdd.com in July 2021 that sought to reach a broader talent pool.

Rumors have surfaced that around 20% of corporate hires have been laid off, indicating that not all individuals who were brought on board during the hiring frenzy were compatible with the business; something to be expected during rapid growth.

Posts from LinkedIn on July 7th, 2021.

Posts on LinkedIn from Lesley Bender and Neda Pacifico of GameStop work to clue investors in on the departments facing downsizing.

“If you are looking to hire folks across visual merchandising, supply chain, social media, site merchandising, content, product, ecommerce, please let me know and I’d be happy to make intros.”

SVP, Ecommerce Neda Pacifico’s July 7th post also adds that individuals in analytics, data engineering, and user experience research were let go.

Hearsay also claims that no blockchain team members were included in the layoffs.

nimble operations

Through rapidly expanding GameStop’s corporate team with six hundred hires in just over a year, not everyone found compatibility with the start-up mentality that Chairman Ryan Cohen brought to the transforming business.

With GameStop committed to an NFT Marketplace launch by the end of the month, the results of the past year’s work will soon begin to unfold.


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Sources: GameStop Form 8-K, CNBC, Neda Pacifico on LinkedIn, Lesley Bender on LinkedIn, Tomasz Wolak on LinkedIn, Adrian San Pedro on LinkedIn, Sam Montoya on LinkedIn, Pierre Dunkel on LinkedIn, Larry Cheng on Twitter, Larry Cheng on Twitter

Since GameStop’s favored Amazon and Chewy don’t refurbish technology, who better to recruit from than Apple? It’s only fair, considering Ryan Cohen remains the company’s largest individual shareholder.

In the year 2000, GameStop started refurbishing games and consoles with just 20 employees in a different building down the street. Just over a decade later, 1,100 worked in a plant formerly used to build wire harnesses for an automotive company, and consoles were just the beginning. 

The Verge states that at the time of reporter Sean Hollister’s visit in 2012, factory workers were testing iPads, iPods, and iPhones for basic functionality: the buttons, the screen, the microphone, the headphone jack, the charging port, and software features. 

It all happens fast: “Every 42 seconds, a unit will be rolling off this cell,” a factory worker says.

Think Different

On June 24th 2010, the much-anticipated iPhone 4 was launching in the United States and Apple Inc. had just rehired Randy Teele to his prior position as the company’s Senior Manager of AppleCare Planning and Procurement after a brief one-year hiatus to work for semiconductor producer Micron Technology.

After persevering through the “Antennagate” scandal, Randy Teele would go on to serve the company through multiple promotions over eleven more years, as the tech pioneers changed the world and reinvented the smartphone, achieving over 40% market share.

Randy was at Apple for every iPhone launch except for the 3GS on June 19th, 2009. He came back to the California-based company just in time for the 4.

In November of 2021, Randy Teele’s decade-long commitment to the $2.6T company was foregone to take up an opportunity to deliver Ryan Cohen’s vision.

See GMEdd.com’s Tech Hire Database at our Report and Models page

Revealed via LinkedIn, Randy Teele departed his position as Apple’s Senior Director of AppleCare Service Operations to begin a new role as GameStop’s Vice President of Worldwide Refurbishment and Warranty.

Randy Teele’s LinkedIn as seen on November 22, 2021.

Having relocated from San Francisco to Grapevine, the experienced supply chain professional is now in charge of overhauling GameStop’s Premium Refurbished Program.

The Core of It

Apple has continuously topped LaptopMag‘s comprehensive support rankings for the last few years, through a combination of speed, friendliness, and knowledgeable agents aligning with GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen’s emphasis on delighting customers.

Stanley “Randy” Teele doesn’t have much of a digital presence, but GMEdd.com was able to find that while working at Cisco in his early career, the global demand planning manager was referred to by an intern from MIT as part of a collective of very smart, dynamic, and driven individuals.

[My manager] has also helped me to work with a very smart, dynamic, and driven set of individuals at Cisco, including Mark Still, Randy Teele, Tom Bomberg, and Kyle Nolan. 

And with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2001 alongside over a decade of growth at Apple, it’s safe to assume that the esteemed executive didn’t leave behind a blue chip to oversee replacing broken Xbox disk drives in Texas.

GameStop must be up to something bigger.

Sources: MIT.edu, The Granite – 1993, The Verge, Randy Teele on LinkedIn, 9to5Mac

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GameStop’s stock may have gotten a little ahead of fundamentals in January, but everything that has transpired behind-the-scenes since then may be leading to a massive reevaluation. 

GameStop’s transformation from a struggling brick-and-mortar retailer into a technology company that will soon unveil GameStop NFT — a gas-free, consumer-facing, blockchain marketplace — may become one of the greatest turnaround stories in business. All the while, the company has remained silent and the financial media refuses to cover it.

If you’ve been following along since GMEdd.com’s inception almost a year ago, you already know the prologue, but for those who are new here: buckle-up and welcome aboard.

Glassware and Dog Food

The story begins long ago with a mentor’s inspiring devotion to his business…

Ted Cohen was a glassware importer with an impeccable work ethic, who reportedly never missed a day on the job. He led by example, but not in a deliberate way. “It’s who he was,” his son says. 

Ted Cohen pictured on the left.

With a keen eye for capital allocation, the disciplined leader kept track of the expenses that most entrepreneurs forget about. Power bills, the varying prices of hundreds of glassware products that he sold, and even the daily gas prices to accommodate for impacted transportation costs.

If you take a carload of this (pointing to a pallet of glassware) you’ll make more money. But if you take a carload of that (pointing to a different pallet), you’ll make less money, but you’ll keep the customer. So, take a carload of that.

Read more on Ted Cohen in Entrepreneur.

Ted Cohen was in it for the long haul. Less concerned with making a “quick buck,” Ted wanted to please his customers. Through his commitment to the business, Ted went on to motivate his son, Ryan, who credits his father’s guiding footsteps in his career.

Influenced by his father, the 25-year old Ryan Cohen dropped out of college and founded Chewy, originally MrChewy, with a friend he met in an online chat room. Chewy’s goal was to create a household brand and sustainable business that “delivers pet happiness” through unmatched convenience and customer service.

Joan Verdon at Forbes reports that, back then, Cohen used the 1997 Jeff Bezos letter to Amazon shareholders as a roadmap for how to grow the company. Chewy’s playbook became Bezos’ emphasis on the need to scale, to achieve market leadership, and to make bold bets.

MrChewy as seen in a 2011 screenshot of the site.

In need of capital, Cohen has said he approached over 100 venture capital firms. After being turned away by all of them, Cohen finally secured the company’s first outside investment of $15 million through linking with Larry Cheng of Volition Capital.

From that point on, the mission was larger. I was even more committed to making Chewy an industry leader, because it was no longer just our own money on the line. Larry had gone out on a limb for us. I felt that responsibility. [Ryan Cohen in HBR]

By 2016, the pet product retailer had grown to $900 million in sales and had become the number 1 online pet retailer. One year later, Cohen had raised $350 million and was preparing for an IPO.

This all took a turn when PetSmart purchased Chewy for $3.35 billion in the largest e-commerce acquisition of all time. Two years later, PetSmart took Chewy public at a valuation of $8.7 billion.

Ryan Cohen has spoken with TechCrunch about Chewy’s IPO.

In an interview with Connie Loizos of TechCrunch, Ryan Cohen referred to Chewy’s IPO as his “baby graduating from the college that he never went to,” and the year of the record-breaking acquisition Fortune named Cohen one of its “40 under 40.”

After continuing to operate as Chewy’s Chief Executive Officer for nearly a year after the sale, Cohen then stepped away from Chewy to begin an exploratory process.

Ryan Cohen considered retirement overrated.

Without any desire to retire at age 33, the relentless entrepreneur began plotting his next move.

I’m lucky. I’m talking to a lot of different entrepreneurs and business[es] and looking at corporate board opportunities. I’m going through that exploratory process.

RC Ventures

In April of 2019, Cohen saw an opportunity with GameStop and invested, pushing the video game retailer to focus on online sales and shutter unprofitable locations.

GameStop had tried and failed to sell itself after years of stagnant growth and corporate strategy missteps. The company hired a new CEO, George Sherman, a veteran of retailers including Advance Auto Parts. Sherman was GameStop’s fifth CEO in less than two years.

At the time, Ryan Cohen was far from being a household name. Living a private life, Cohen had rarely spoken with the press, and GMEdd.com can only cite seven media appearances despite selling a high-profile, multi-billion dollar company prior to his initial GameStop purchase.

With Cohen down on his GME investment, his suggestions to the board largely ignored, and stock reaching an all-time low of $2.80, the investor executed on an activist approach and upped the ante to a 9% stake, as he filed his first 13D for GameStop via RC Ventures LLC on August 28, 2020. 

RC Ventures’ first 13D filing, dated August 28th, 2020.

This sparked waves, particularly within value investor circles, as many pondered the e-commerce guru’s investment motives. What was the Founder of Chewy doing investing in GameStop?

For the past year, Cohen had been perfectly crafting a digital presence, coming out of his private life and conducting more than a dozen interviews, seemingly in an effort to build his credibility as an e-commerce mogul and aid with public support in the event of a proxy battle for control of the company.

When Cohen filed his initial stake in GameStop, traders were interested in the business magnate’s motives and discovered his recently-conducted media sharing his groundbreaking story of beating Amazon in the digital world.

At the time, Cohen had established a website, ryan-cohen.com, that embedded various media appearances and formal interviews the Chewy co-founder had given.

Roaring Kitty was impressed with Ryan Cohen’s success as an entrepreneur.

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. 

The website has since been shut down in December of 2020. Had the website done its job? 

The Letter and the Agreement

In November of 2020, Ryan Cohen again upped his stake, averaging into a 9.98% position.  More importantly, the activist investor amended a letter to the board in his 13D titled, “Maximizing Stockholder Value by Becoming the Ultimate Destination for Gamers.”

Snippets of Cohen’s Letter to GameStop’s Board in November 2020.

In a bold move, Ryan Cohen urged GameStop’s board to adopt the right roadmap to value creation, stating that the company needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers.

GAMESTOP’S LEADERSHIP MUST PROMPTLY PIVOT FROM A BRICK-AND-MORTAR MINDSET TO A TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN VISION

The letter called to attention the ineptitude of then-CEO George Sherman, “Regrettably, Mr. Sherman appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Ryan Cohen wrote. 

To this day, the November 2020 letter remains the preeminent voice of Ryan Cohen’s vision regarding the gaming retailer, that all investors should review for an inside-look at his strategy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the board responded by hosting a private call with Mr. Cohen.

Outraged with a proposed dilutive offering that was never mentioned on the call, Cohen wrote an email to GameStop’s then-chairwoman, Kathy Vrabeck, warning her that he would go public with his disapproval if the company proceeded with the sale. He urged her to share the email with other directors, people familiar with the matter said.  [WSJ, Aug. 12, 2021]

“The ill-timed stock offering created a wedge and he used it to his advantage,” a former board member said.

Reportedly leery of a prolonged fight and open to new ideas to improve the business, the board invited Mr. Cohen and two of his associates to join in January.

Read How Ryan Cohen Took Over GameStop – WSJ for more.

GameStop announced the RC Ventures agreement on January 11th.

With Ryan Cohen and his colleagues from Chewy’s executive suite now appointed to GameStop’s board, the work was just getting started.

Cohen in Charge

One of GameStop’s first Cohen-lead initiatives was recruiting a Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President of Customer Care, and a Vice President of Fulfillment. 

All of these appointees came from Amazon and Chewy, with the job titles and work experience indicating a new direction the board member was steering the company towards.

Shortly thereafter, the then-CFO Jim Bell was pushed out and a “hiring frenzy” rapidly ensued.

In May, GMEdd.com published GameStop Poaches Talent From The Best – Amazon, Chewy, Facebook, Google, and More.

As if the decades-old company was a startup once again, tech and e-commerce talent looking to be a part of something began leaving blue-chips in droves to fulfill Cohen’s vision. LinkedIn chatter began hinting towards GameStop gearing up for a transformation that will be studied in universities for years to come.

The stock remained volatile, and in April a new slate for the board was announced, with Chewy’s first investor Larry Cheng nominated for a seat and Ryan Cohen to be elected as Chairman.

At the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting on June 9th, 2021, the newly-appointed Chairman addressed claims that the company was withholding a roadmap from investors.

We know some people want us to lay out a whole detailed plan today, but that’s not gonna happen. You won’t find us talking a big game, making a bunch of lofty promises, or telegraphing our strategy to the competition. That’s the philosophy we adopted at Chewy.

After months of cheeky tweets from Cohen, GameStop had announced two new fulfillment centers, mirroring Chewy’s locations and strategy. Simultaneously, the company had eliminated all long-term debt and raised nearly $2bn to fund transformation efforts.

GMEdd.com also took note of several job listings and LinkedIn posts that indicated the company would be expanding their corporate footprint from Grapevine to South Florida, Seattle, and Boston in an effort to have a vast pool from which to recruit talent.

The Future of Gaming

Sprinkled in these job postings were hints that the company was up to something big. GMEdd.com first noted in an otherwise typical job posting from April 8th, 2021, GameStop inadvertently expressed interest in the booming non-fungible tokens market, alongside blockchain and cryptocurrency.

GameStop’s Job Listing from April 8th, 2021

Listed under additional skills and experience, GameStop asked that applicants have experience in: blockchain, cryptocurrency, or non-fungible tokens.

In an increasing mania, GameStop began recruiting individuals for an “NFTeam” upon establishing NFT.GameStop.com, asking for exceptional engineers, designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders to join the project.

It wasn’t long until speculative investors began pondering GameStop’s move into NFTs, and what the brick-and-mortar retailer was up to hiring blockchain engineers.

By October, GMEdd.com was confident enough to put all of the pieces together and publish the findings.

Loopring is the key

Loopring is aiming to leverage blockchain to become the leading user-facing financial services application in the world. Revolutionizing trading, investing, payments, ‘banking’, to become the gateway of choice for users to experience the parallel financial system of Ethereum — in all its glory and security.

Loopring posted an interview titled, “Counterfactual Wallet & NFTs on Loopring” on Medium. 

For months, the technology company had teased an NFT Marketplace launch with a “premium owner,” coming soon, and with glaring business ties and family ties, it seemed Loopring had the technology that GameStop would utilize to bridge traditional e-commerce and blockchain, and engineer the revolution of gaming.

Read more on the clues in Clues Point Towards GameStop Launching NFT Marketplace with Leading Crypto Technology Company Loopring

Just days later, with the clues published and the theory gaining traction, GameStop bluntly requested NFT marketplace experience in a job posting, alongside blockchain gaming.

The very next day, GMEdd.com noticed updates pushed to Loopring’s public GitHub repository containing code referring to GameStop, confirming the highly speculated partnership.

Loopring’s ‘NFT feature’ code revealed several references to GameStop.

Loopring had also announced that the NFT marketplace will feature gas-free, instant transactions, eliminating a high drop-off point in the conversion tunnel and a major impediment to mass-adoption.

At this point, with over 250 fresh tech-experienced hires, it has become irrefutable that GameStop is on the brink of transforming into a technology company, and now it’s just a matter of valuation.

What’s it worth?

It could be argued GameStop’s NFT marketplace has a greater chance of success because the established gaming brand already has a customer base of early adopters, including 55 million PowerUp Rewards members and an enthusiastic base of retail investors eager to adopt the platform.

Through a successful NFT marketplace launch, GameStop has the potential to generate millions of high-value additional revenue per year, cementing itself in the technology sector and forcing Wall Street to stop evaluating the company as a brick-and-mortar retailer and start implementing tech multiples. 

On Tuesday, November 16th 2021, at 9:30 AM EST — the one-year anniversary of Ryan Cohen’s landmark Letter to the Board — GMEdd.com will be releasing their first refreshed research report since January, including updated price targets derived from new information, and you won’t want to miss it.

REFRESHED RESEARCH REPORT

Sources: Ryan Cohen in Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Roaring Kitty on YouTube, SEC 13D Filing, GameStop Careers, Chewy.com Archive, GameStop News Release, Loopring on Medium, GitHub Archive, Wall Street Journal, HBR

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GameStop has ‘yoinked’ over 250 tech-experienced hires from the likes of Chewy, Amazon, and Microsoft since Ryan Cohen’s digital-first takeover. 

In May, GMEdd.com published GameStop Poaches Talent From The Best – Amazon, Chewy, Facebook, Google, and More, revealing that public profiles on LinkedIn indicated over 30 new hires at the gaming retailer who brought experience from a cross section of high growth e-commerce stars.

Now, GameStop has more than octupled that number, recruiting over 250 quintessential go-getters to aid in the transformation.

Per an agreement with GameStop Corp. in January, Ryan Cohen’s RC Ventures was granted 3 seats on the company’s board as the Chewy co-founder had been urging the brick-and-mortar to adapt to changing times.

Ever since, the public corporation has operated largely in silence while building the foundation for a digital-first technology company that can compete with the likes of Amazon.

Ryan Cohen’s secret to accomplishing this? Finding talent. And lots of it.

GMEdd.com has been tracking GameStop’s tech hires since the appointment of Matt Francis to CTO in February.

Can’t stop, won’t stop, GameStop.

When Ryan Cohen was asked how he finds his management teams during a 2018 Miami Herald interview, he gave his endorsement for the professional networking platform 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 handpicked these people. They are the best of the best, the Navy Seals of management teams.

By scouring LinkedIn, we can discover some motivations as to what would compel someone to make such an unconventional career move from a blue-chip to GameStop.

Brian OKeefe’s post on LinkedIn in October of 2021.

Take Brian OKeefe, an Amazon veteran who had operated as a Global Finance Lead for the e-commerce giant for over four and a half years. 

On LinkedIn in September, OKeefe stated that he has left Amazon to “pursue a new challenge,” and that he is “energized by the team, the mission, and the story here,” at GameStop.

OKeefe isn’t the only GameStop recruit that has shared this same bullish sentiment on social media. In fact, GameStop’s mission and startup-atmosphere seems to be part of the pitch.

Jeremy Martin joined GameStop in July 2021.

Jeremy Martin worked at Amazon for over 8 years prior to starting his next adventure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, at GameStop HQ. 

Martin wasn’t a small fish, either. Having served as Amazon UK’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), he designed, staffed, and led high performance finance, sales, and UK operations for the multi-billion dollar e-commerce company.

GameStop Headquarters’ floor plans are available online, dated July 29th, 2021.¹

GameStop’s Grapevine Headquarters’ floor plans reveal Jeremy Martin’s importance to the scrappy startup, with an office positioned right by the CEO and Executive Suite.

The gaming retailer’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Matt Furlong, previously worked as Amazon’s Country Leader for Australia, indicating GameStop’s interest in these high-ranking players.

Vinay Patel has not yet announced his new employment, but we can safely guess.²

Amazon employees have begun to notice how GameStop has been poaching all of the company’s talent, with Vinay Patel, a 5 year Amazon vet, stating that he “had an opportunity that was very hard to walk away from.”

Please don’t tell me we lost another teammate to GameStop!

What’s the plan?

Although it seems that GameStop’s recruits are being asked to keep their tasks on the down-low, some can’t help but share their enthusiasm, and it’s in-part to help recruit for their own teams.

Stacey Ferreira is ‘building the experience of the future’ at GameStop.

Meet Stacey Ferreira, who has taken the role of Director of New Formats at GameStop. In fact, you may recognize her name, since she’s founded and sold two technology companies, been recognized on Forbes 30 Under 30, co-authored the best-selling book 2 Billion Under 20, and spoken at a number of prestigious events including TEDx, Singularity University, Inc. Women’s Summit, among others.

Now, she’s focused on building GameStop’s “store of the future,” and working to bridge digital/physical into a seamless customer experience.

Revitalizing retail should not come as a surprise, considering in July individuals with first-hand knowledge on Ryan Cohen’s strategy stated that the Chairman was ‘infuriated with dusty shelves’ and had plans to revive retail stores.

That’s not all

While the public has not yet been informed what GameStop’s tech-centric roadmap entails, through chatter amongst hires on LinkedIn we can now speculate that the future includes forward-thinking improvements across the board alongside new offerings.

GameStop employees have hinted towards building new mobile apps, an NFT marketplace, a new customer service team, the evolution of the PowerUp Rewards program, new private label products, new supply chain systems, new fulfilment centers, a new website UX, expansion into PC gaming and eSports, revamping GameInformer, a new affiliate and partnership program, and improving the associate training program LevelUp.

GameStop’s senior management is hiring for just about everything.

LinkedIn remains a critical behind-the-scenes resource for GameStop investors, and posts by employees indicate widespread talent acquisition in all departments. 

With GameStop’s new management on a hiring frenzy, tech and e-commerce executives looking to be a part of something are leaving FAANG in droves to fulfill Cohen’s vision

Toast and vestro researched. Toast edited and contributed. 

Sources: Miami Herald, Charles Pich on LinkedIn, Brian OKeefe on LinkedIn, GameStop Space Information, Eva Lau on LinkedIn, Greg Palmer on LinkedIn, Daniel West on LinkedIn, Erik Shewalter, Stacey Ferreira on LinkedIn, Stephen Daws on LinkedIn, Brandon Southern on LinkedIn, Ken Suzuki on LinkedIn, Vinay Patel on LinkedIn

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¹After GMEdd.com published this piece, GameStop’s floor plans were taken down, leading our sources to now point to an archived version.

² Vinay Patel has updated his LinkedIn to reflect employment at GameStop.

After stealthily expanding from Texas to South Florida and Seattle, GameStop is now going for the home run.

While all eyes are on GameStop’s expansion into the metaverse, it’s still important to keep tabs on the physical world, where GMEdd has been tracking GameStop’s corporate footprint for months.

In order to understand GameStop’s forward-looking expansion, it’s important to refresh with some background.

Rapid Expansion

Per an agreement with GameStop Corp. in January, Ryan Cohen’s RC Ventures was granted 3 seats on the company’s board as the Chewy co-founder had been urging the brick-and-mortar retailer to adapt to changing times.

Ever since, the company has operated largely in silence while building the foundation for a digital-first technology company that can compete with the likes of Amazon.

In May, GMEdd speculated that GameStop would be soon opening a new Florida location in a piece titled GameStop Hints at New Florida Office, which was later confirmed by GameStop in September.

Two months later, GMEdd published that the gaming retailer was also expanding out to the windy city of Seattle, which was later confirmed by a GameStop employee on Twitter in October. 

GameStop has yet to officially announce the offices in Seattle, but Rukari did.

The first clue to these expansions? Public job listings for remote positions with these cities as the location. 

While these positions can sometimes be considered remote work, GameStop still utilizes a central office to foster a community atmosphere amongst the team.

we’re hiring

In order to catalog GameStop’s latest filings and job postings, GMEdd.com has created the #gme-tracker bot, available for public viewing on the GMEdd Discord Server.

Recently, GameStop Careers has been flush with job postings for Boston, Massachusetts. There are currently multiple active openings in HR, marketing, finance, and tech categories. 

A Global Corporate Controller position is available at GameStop’s four hubs: Boston, Seattle, Grapevine, and South Florida.

Currently, GameStop Corp. has 31 positions listed in Boston, ignoring 71 additional retail openings.

GMEdd’s GameStop Tech Hire Database also includes a handful of public employees already located in Boston, many of which came from Chewy’s Boston office.

GMEdd’s full Tech Hire Database is located on our Report and Models page.

GameStop’s available job listings include 14 Marketing positions, 8 Human Resources positions , 6 Information Technology/Ecommerce Technology positions, and 3 Accounting And Finance positions.

One job listing in the Human Resources category, searching for a Data Generalist in Boston, Massachusetts, states that the selected applicant would become an integral part of the Boston office.

This one screenshot could be the whole story, but that wouldn’t be fun, would it?

This person will be an integral part of the HR Business Partner team for Field and the Boston office.

With the Boston office confirmed in a simple HR job listing, we can begin to speculate why the aspiring tech company is so interested in New England’s oldest city.

Mirroring Chewy… Again

In July, Reuters published a story citing three anonymous sources from GameStop:

 Three people with first-hand knowledge of his strategy said he plans to breathe life into the stores by investing in what customers want and improving how employees can serve them.

See Ryan Cohen to Revitalize Retail, an Inside Look for more on this piece.

The article goes on to say that Cohen, who co-founded Chewy in 2011, is planning to turn GameStop into the “Chewy of Gaming,” which should not be surprising to anyone who’s followed his actions thus far — some of the first big moves by GameStop under Cohen’s leadership were opening two new fulfillment centers in the same locations Chewy started

Cohen is undaunted. He is seeking to repeat his success with online pet supplies retailer Chewy, which he sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017. He wants to turn GameStop into a gaming and entertainment retailer or the “Chewy of gaming”, with lower prices, better selection and faster delivery times on online orders than its rivals.

With this year’s expansion, GameStop will retain their original corporate location in Grapevine, Texas, along with now adding the growing business-hubs of South Florida, Seattle, and Boston. 

GameStop’s own Game Informer, the company’s in-house publisher of the latest in video game news, reviews, previews, podcasts, and features, is headquartered in Minneapolis. 

Chewy, on the other hand, refers to itself as “dual-headquartered”, with headquarters in South Florida and Boston. It also has two other corporate locations: Seattle — which opened recently — and Minneapolis.

See an interactive version of the Chewy and GameStop Offices map here: Google My Maps.

Chewy’s primary headquarters are in South Florida and Boston, paired with new offices in Minneapolis and Seattle. Both companies have fulfillment and service centers across the United States.

It’s possible that GameStop has observed what’s worked for Chewy and is following in their footsteps. Expanding to the same locations as Chewy also makes poaching top talent from the pet food retailer easier.

So Why Bawwston?

It is worth noting that Boston is home to the first investor in Chewy, Larry Cheng, who has since joined GameStop’s board following an announcement in April

On Twitter, Larry Cheng has advocated for Boston’s tech and veture capital community.

Cheng is passionate about the Boston tech and venture capital community.

Four years after Cheng’s investment in Chewy in 2013, when Ryan Cohen was asked by the Boston Globe why Chewy was expanding into Boston, the Chief Executive shared his interest in Boston’s 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.

Ryan Cohen was interviewed by the Boston Globe in 2017.

Ryan Cohen also said that a small team was already working in a temporary space, and the company would move into a lease of a 20,000-square-foot office. It’s likely that GameStop has similar plans.

With GameStop already opening up two “Amazon-sized” fulfillment centers, rumored offices in Seattle and Boston, alongside hiring up to 500 employees at the newly-leased customer service center in South Florida, the company has expanded beyond the expected and GameStop’s next trajectory might just be the moon.

Toast and Jenna researched and contributed. Toast edited and contributed. 

Sources: GameStop Careers, GameStop on LinkedIn, Chewy, Boston Globe

“One day Chewy CEO Sumit Singh is going to come in to work and the entire office will just be empty, the trash cans overflowing after GME poaches everyone below him including the janitorial staff.” – woodcubed

GameStop’s recruiting team is relentless.

Several E-commerce giants have sacrificed executive talent to GameStop while the gaming retailer undergoes a historic transformation.

Just Chewing Away

Chewy’s Vice President of Engineering, Mark Bixby, has left his career at Chewy where he was responsible for building Chewy’s e-commerce platform, to take part in engineering the revolution of gaming.

Mark Bixby is now working remotely from Boston for GameStop Corp.

the revolution

In August, GameStop’s Group Director of eCommerce Engineering made a bold claim while searching for candidates to fill never-ending positions at the transforming gaming retailer, stating:

Want to be a part of engineering the revolution of gaming?

In the last six months, GameStop has recruited over 70 individuals from Chewy alone, including several vice presidents and team leaders.

GMEdd’s full tech hire sheet is available on our Report and Models page.

the navy seals of management teams

While this many hirings of this caliber is always impressive, Mark Bixby’s recruitment was anticipated by GMEdd 4 weeks ago.

In June, GMEdd built the GameStop Tracker, a publicly-accessible bot that alerts investors of new job postings at the company, using open resources.

You can check out the bot on our Discord server #gme-tracker.

The job posting by GameStop Corp. for a VP of Engineering, Ecommerce on September 2nd, 2021 caught our eyes.

Why? Because it was meant for Mark Bixby, literally.

GameStop’s job posting on September 2nd, 2021

It’s typical for a corporation that already has the candidate to establish a job posting in which anybody can apply, with the description defining the already selected candidate.

They just said the quiet part.

Oops.

Sources: GameStop.com Careers, Mark Bixby on LinkedIn

Since Ryan Cohen’s tech centric takeover, GameStop.com has faced constant updates in pursuit of e-commerce perfection.

Back in March of 2021, after over two decades of GameStop’s classic pure black and dark red logo, the company’s website was updated to feature all red lettering, seemingly putting the past behind them.

Following this update in June 2021, GMEdd took note of GameStop refreshing their corporate branding to a sleek black and white, a bold new look for the aspiring tech company’s digital presence.

Two months into Cohen’s entrance GameStop tried going all red.

Now What?

Within the past week, GameStop has updated its website logo, again, but not to their black and white logo from June, to something new we’ve never seen before.

The GameStop logo remained largely unchanged from 2000 until now.

Now, the logo is back to its original black and red, but the exact colors used are different. The red letters are now a more subdued shade of red, and the black letters are in a lighter shade of black.

The logo’s signature Impact font is also notably modernized, featuring curved edges in exchange for the old sharp lines.

Sharp lines are out, curvy is in.

We can’t help but take note that there’s another certain e-commerce giant with a very curvy logo, all the way from a to z.

Updates Across the Board

The logo change isn’t the only fresh look on the website. 

GameStop.com’s digital storefront has gone through several major overhauls since Cohen took over and it’s likely we will continue to see incremental changes to the platform.

GameStop’s Investor Relations page has also undergone a significant update, introducing new branding with refreshed font, and fun gaming-related banners. 

It is as if they’re trying to appeal to a new kind of investor

GameStop’s new board pushed for an update to their investor relations pages.

The update to GameStop’s investor relations appeared on September 6th, 2021, shortly before GameStop’s Q2 2021 Earnings announcement.

The branding seen in this section of their site matches that of the job listing posts by GameStop on LinkedIn that started about a month ago.

GameStop’s branding is facing refreshes in all departments.

GMEdd’s Tech Hires sheet details over 180 tech-related hires since RC Ventures’ January takeover, including new designers and graphic artists.

Pixel by pixel, GameStop must implement both subtle and powerful changes, while retaining the retail giant’s distinguished look that gamers across the world have resonated with for over twenty years.

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

Sources: Wayback Machine, Wayback Machine, GameStop.com, GameStop on LinkedIn