October 4, 2023

An open letter to Ryan Cohen, Executive Chairman of GameStop

Dear Ryan,

In the humble opinion of this former analyst, you are failing big time at GameStop and costing average investors a lot of money.

Do it better. Much better. This is painful to watch.

You have a hand-picked board of directors – usually made up of people you worked with at Chewy. At Chewy, you’ve created an online retailer loved by millions of people. But the magic you found there didn’t fix GameStop. Some would say business has gotten worse!

Q1 2023 revenue: 10.3% lower year-on-year. First quarter 2023 net loss: $50.5 million versus a year-ago net loss of $157.9 million.

In 2022 and 2021 combined, GameStop lost according to .

You failed to choose and develop a management team based on the revenue under your kingdom.

For all his faults, how could a former Amazon exec in Matt Furlong not find some form of success at GameStop? A good quarter perhaps? Your chosen CFO was fired in July 2022 after about a year of service.

While I’m at it, why isn’t it on the GameStop investor page? Displaying these biographies is standard practice for publicly traded companies.

That’s all up to you as leader, Ryan.

The company remains structurally challenged by increasing downloads of digital games. More than 4,000 stores are still open worldwide, despite more and more people buying goods and services online. Your push to NFTs failed. Your move to open more fulfillment centers has arguably failed due to pressure at the top that won’t go away.

Collectibles sales – a key area of ​​management’s focus – fell 22% in the first quarter.

There’s still no reason for the non-gamer to enter a GameStop store. That is a problem in my view.

Of course I didn’t create a huge company like you at Chewy. I also did not sell a large company to another company like you did when you sold Chewy to Petsmart in 2017. I also didn’t take a company public like Chewy did in 2019.

I recommend that you put in the late nights to make these things happen. I am a fan of heart and hustle stories.

I also don’t have the enormous wealth – that you earned with Chewy! — available to me, and that means I’m incapable of overthrowing the board of directors of a publicly traded company and treating a company like a personal playground. That’s what I think happened at GameStop.

This bank account means you have more influence over public markets than I do, and you can increase your weight. And have. Your past moves in Bed Bath & Beyond and Nordstrom — and outlandish tweets — show that you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is to make a point.

It’s your money and you can do whatever you want with it. After all, we live in a capitalist system.

But you fail at GameStop.

And perhaps your biggest failure is the lack of communication with the average investor community.

A series of 8-minute earnings calls over the past two years led by Furlong, with no Q&A? Are you kidding?

No investor-oriented event detailing your grand plan?

I’m getting cryptic for competitive reasons, but you’re a director of a public company. Investors deserve to know the vision of a company controlled by you personally and your hand-picked board.

The average investor has put a lot of trust in you, Ryan. They’ve spent hours reviewing GameStop’s financials, supporting you on social media, and the comment sections on Yahoo Finance, among other things.

It’s time you show them the respect they deserve. The Ryan Cohen we spoke to at Yahoo Finance in 2019 seemed to be someone who would at least entertain the thought of caring about the average guy.

Be that Ryan Cohen again. Investors deserve it… and have earned it by blindly supporting you for two years.

Note: A Ryan Cohen spokesperson did not answer Yahoo Finance’s request to make Ryan Cohen available for an interview for this piece.

Brian Sozzi is the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and further LinkedIn. Tips on the banking crisis? Email to brian.sozzi@yahoofinance.com

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