GameStop COO Jenna Owens is leaving after a short 7-month stint


GameStop, the company whose stock has caused a stir with day traders this year, said Friday that Jenna Owens had agreed to leave, just seven months after joining the video game retailer as chief operating officer.

This marks GameStop’s first major management departure since the company hired a new chief executive, Matt Furlong, in June.

Owens, who was a top executive at Amazon and Google Alphabet, joined GameStop in March. She was one of the tech veterans recruited by Ryan Cohen, the co-founder and former CEO of online pet food retailer Chewy, as he laid the groundwork to transform the moribund brick-and-mortar retailer. into an e-commerce hub.

GameStop did not provide a reason for Owens’ departure, which is effective immediately. The company said in a regulatory filing that it and Owens entered into a “separation agreement,” which is usually negotiated when companies and their executives disagree.

GameStop also used separation agreements when it parted ways with its chief financial officer Jim Bell and chief executive George Sherman earlier this year. They were replaced by Furlong as CEO and Mike Recupero as CFO.

Owens will be entitled to severance pay, according to the filing. His duties will be taken over by other senior GameStop executives.

The company declined to comment beyond the filing. Owens could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cohen and two other former Chewy executives joined GameStop’s board in January, just before retail investors piled into the company’s stock and sent it soaring more than 2,500%. The shares gave up some of their gains and GameStop is now valued at around $14 billion (around Rs. 1,04,913 crore).

Since becoming president in June, Cohen has pushed aggressively to improve the customer experience, but hasn’t offered a detailed plan for how GameStop will achieve its digital transformation.

The Grapevine, Texas-based console video game business faces competition from streaming services such as Apple’s, which allow users to play video games on their televisions without the need for a ‘a console.

Cohen has recruited a number of Amazon executives, including Furlong and Elliott Wilkie who joined as chief growth officer in March.

Public records and filings show the company has hired dozens of new executives with supply chain and technology backgrounds from companies including Chewy and e-commerce company Zulily.

Cohen and Furlong also fired several senior executives in recent months who didn’t fit their system, the two sources said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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