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GameStop shares jump after company says it plans to name Ryan Cohen chairman

Pedestrians pass a GameStop store on 14th Street at Union Square, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the Manhattan borough of New York.

John Minchillo | AP

GameStop announced Thursday that the Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen will become its chairman following the company’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled for June 9.

The retailer’s shares jumped more than 4% in premarket trading, putting the stock on track to snap a three-day losing streak. Shares have given up some of their sky-high gains since a surge in late January, but are still up more than 870% this year, giving the company a market value of $12.8 billion.

Cohen invested in GameStop last year, to push the video game retailer to focus on online sales and shutter unprofitable stores in malls. His involvement with the company helped spark the stock’s wild ride earlier this year.

Cohen is also the manager of activist investor RC Ventures.

Kathy Vrabeck is currently GameStop’s board chair.

The transition is part of a broader management shakeup taking place at GameStop as it tries to turn its business around.

It has recently brought on several executives from Amazon, Walmart, QVC and Chewy for top positions. Chief Merchandising Officer Chris Homeister submitted his resignation from the business in late March. And in February, Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell announced his resignation, as the company searches for a successor with more of an e-commerce background.

GameStop said Thursday in a securities filing that other new board nominees include Larry Cheng, the first investor in Chewy, and Yang Xu, an executive at Kraft Heinz.

It’s also nominating current board members Alan Attal and CEO George Sherman.

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