February 24, 2021
The rollercoaster Wall Street existence of GameStop took another surge skyward Feb. 24 — the day after CFO Jim Bell announced his resignation, effective March 26. The video game retailer’s shares surged up more than 100% to close at $91.71 per share. The volatility echoed recent market swings for the retailer after it became caught up in a high-profile battle between independent day traders and established hedge funds — the latter looking to short the stock; in effect betting on the retail chain’s demise in an era of online games and subscription gaming.
Bell had been recently criticized by activist investor Ryan Cohen, founder/former CEO of Chewy, for not being more aggressive pushing GameStop toward digital gaming. Cohen, 35, sold Chewy to PetSmart in 2017 for $3.35 billion. He is now reportedly the single largest individual investor in Apple.
GameStop said that if a permanent replacement was not in place at the time of Bell’s departure, it intends to appoint chief accounting officer Diana Jajeh to the role of interim CFO. Jajeh has more than two decades of experience operating as an auditor, comptroller and corporate finance executive. After beginning her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, she subsequently held senior roles at companies such as Visa and e.l.f. Cosmetics.