Chewy Co-Founder Ryan Cohen to Lead Strategic Initiative at GameStop
Ryan Cohen, the Chewy co-founder and former CEO, has a new pet project: transform GameStop, the world's largest video game retailer, into the Amazon of gaming. GameStop announced the "Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee" on Monday. The committee is composed of Cohen, former Chewy Chief Marketing Officer Alan Attal, and another one of GameStop's activist investors, Kurt Wolf. The purpose of the committee, GameStop said, is to, "identify initiatives that can further accelerate the company's transformation." Cohen purchased a sizable chunk of GameStop shares in September 2020, accumulating over 12 percent of the company by December 2020 and sending stock value soaring.
Total Retail's Take: The proposed reinvention of GameStop, led by Cohen, is attracting a lot of investor interest. His success in building Chewy, and ultimately selling it to PetSmart in 2017 for $3.35 billion, has built a pedigree (another pet pun!) that makes outside investors confident that he can do the same in turning around GameStop's fortunes. Core to the plan will be Cohen's idea to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities, and specifically reselling used games online. Cohen has reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer's well-known game trade-in program. With the shift to online gaming, Cohen (and many others) realize that GameStop is going to have to reinvent itself if it wants to survive, let alone prosper. The leadership team, with Cohen in tow, is in place. Now it's time to execute on the ideas. Time will tell if it works.