GameStop (GME) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jim Bell will be pushed out the door in March, the game-retailer announced Wednesday. According to a report by Business Insider, Bell didn’t resign, but the company “had lost faith in him.” The company’s shares surged more than 100% following the news.
GameStop, the U.S.-based game retailer was hitting the news in January. The company’s stock led a historic rally after Reddit group WallStreetBets invested heavily in the stock. The Reddit traders countered Wall Street titans who were shorting the GME stock. Consequently, the battle between bulls and short sellers drove the GME stock to an all-time high of $486 per share.
By March 26, Bell will no longer be the Chief Financial Officer of GameStop. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Bell’s removal was not because of any disagreement with GameStop.
“Bell’s resignation is not because of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices, including accounting principles or practices.” Read the filing.
Jim Bell profited from hedge funds vs Redditers saga
Bell joined GameStop in 2019. At that time, the game retailer was having some bad days. As e-commerce was emerging, and video game sales were digitizing. Nevertheless, GameStop decided to push Bell out for his “inability to shift into e-commerce”. On the other hand, Ryan Cohen, GameStop’s largest shareholder criticized the game retailer for failing to follow-up with the e-commerce and digital economy emerging trend.
In fact, hedge funds such as Melvin Capital shorted the GME stock because it failed to embrace the digital economy. In return, the Reddit group WallStreetBets and its famous trader Roaring Kitty countered hedge funds — leading to the GameStop saga back in January. However, the stock plunged to $45 since then, and only a few traders such as Roaring Kitty profited from the frenzy.
Although Bell was pushed out of GameStop; he is bringing about $30 million home with him, said a report by Bloomberg. His contract consisted of a $2.8 million severance and departure award of restricted shares worth over $13 million. Additionally, Bell will profit from equity grants related to GameStop’s performance over the upcoming years.
Diana Jajeh, senior vice president and chief accounting officer, will replace Bell as an interim chief financial officer until the company hires a permanent CFO.
GameStop stated that they’re looking for CFO with “the capabilities and qualifications to help accelerate GameStop’s transformation.”