As investors poured into the brick-and-mortar store despite a C-suite shake-up, GameStop shares soared more than 100 percent on Wednesday. Shares were suspended on the trading day with less than 30 minutes remaining and the market finished the day up 103.9 percent. In afterhours trading on Wednesday, GameStop shares rose another 83 percent. GameStop announced Tuesday that its chief financial officer Jim Bell will resign on March 26. “Mr. Bell’s resignation was not because of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices, including accounting principles and practices,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider that Bell did not leave willingly, but was pushed out by Ryan Cohen, co-founder of Chewy who made an investment in GameStop last year in an effort to help the company accelerate its push online.
We acknowledge that leadership changes often follow activist settlements and Mr. Bell’s exit was mutual, non-immediate, and suggests no disagreements with company/board,” Jefferies equity analyst Stephanie Wissink told clients. “We believe Mr. Bell deserves recognition for a series of actions that protected GME equity during the late stages of the last hardware cycle, when sales were down sharply.” Jefferies added that GameStop will likely look for a CFO replacement with a tech, compared to retail, background, as GameStop focuses on e-commerce growth. A handful of other Reddit trades rose in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Shares of AMC popped 22% and Koss gained 57%.