Thursday November 30, 2023

GameStop CEO’s Nine-Figure Parting Gift

  • GameStop's CEO George Sherman is leaving the company in July, but he's leaving with around $169 million in stock.
  • The company is replacing much of its board and C-suite with executives from Chewy and Amazon.
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A dream job is usually defined as one where you get paid to pursue your passion, but it can also be one where you make over $100 million in two years due to forces largely out of your control.

GameStop CEO George Sherman scored the second kind: He’s leaving his post in July but will be allowed to vest his stocks early and cash in around $169 million in holdings.

His severance package is significantly marked down from what it might have been: Sherman, who owns roughly 2.4% of the company, agreed to give up $5 million in cash, around $47 million in stock, and additional equity. The company has a market capitalization of $12.7 billion.

The shakeup is also pushing out the company’s chief financial, merchandising, and customer officers, who are collectively leaving with parting gifts worth over $120 million. 

All of that is a price billionaire activist investor Ryan Cohen is willing to pay to remake GameStop by shifting its focus from retail to e-commerce. He is reportedly considering turning some of GameStop’s retail locations into esports training centers. 

The 35-year-old, who owns about 13% of GameStop, has installed executives on the board and C-suite from Chewy, the pet food ecommerce site where he made his fortune, and Amazon.

GameStop’s stock, worth around $8.65 in April 2019, when Sherman joined the team, rocketed up to an intraday high of $482 in January. After some dizzying drops and rises over the next three months, the company sat at $177.77 at market close on Tuesday.

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