Meme fav GameStop jumps again as retailer eyes digital shift

by Jeremy

NEW YORK — GameStop took a step toward a more digital future Monday, naming an activist investor to push more of its business online to lead company efforts.

The stock, which has become the focus of federal regulators after online traders challenged more institutional investors and sent shares gyrating wildly, jumped 12% in early trading.

Ryan Cohen, the co-founder of the online pet supply company Chewy, will chair the company’s new Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee.

Cohen took a massive stake in GameStop before the online frenzy over company shares began in January. He has been seen as an agent of change and knows how to make a traditional business more nimble through technology.

Cohen won a seat on GameStop’s board early this year, about a month after the company revealed plummeting sales in its third quarter. He has since lobbied to move GameStop’s focus away from store locations and more online existence.

Cohen’s arrival helped spark a stock-buying frenzy in which more minor, online investors challenged massive GameStop short positions held by hedge funds that believed the company was overvalued and in for a rough ride.

A share of GameStop that could be had for less than $20 at the start of the year rocketed north of $480 by the end of January. Trading for more than $150 on Monday, shares are still up 720% this year.

Based in Grapevine, Texas, GameStop also said Monday that it had appointed a chief technology officer, hired executives to lead its customer care and e-commerce functions, and began searching for a new chief financial officer with experience in tech or e-commerce.

Joining the strategic committee with Cohen are Alan Attal and Kurt Wolf, the company said Monday.

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