GameStop COO Jenna Owens Exits After a Short 7-Month Stint


GameStop, the company whose stock became a sensation with day traders this year, said Friday that Jenna Owens has agreed to leave just seven months after joining the video game retailer as chief operating officer.

This is the first major executive departure GameStop Since the company appointed a new chief executive officer, Matt Furlong, in June.

Owens, who was a top executive heroine and alphabet Google, joined GameStop in March. He was one of the technology giants recruited by Ryan Cohen, co-founder and former CEO of online pet food retailer Chevy, as he laid the groundwork for transforming the dying brick-and-mortar retailer into an e-commerce powerhouse.

GameStop did not provide a reason for Owens’ departure, which is effective immediately. The company said in a regulatory filing that it and Owens had reached a “separation agreement” that is usually negotiated when the companies and their executives do not see face-to-face.

GameStop also used separation agreements earlier this year with its Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell and Chief Executive Officer George Sherman when it split. He was replaced by Furlong as CEO and Mike Ricupero as CFO.

The filing said Owens would be entitled to a severance package. His duties will be taken over by other senior GameStop managers.

The company declined to comment beyond the filing. Owens could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Cohen and two other former Chewy executives joined the GameStop board in January, just before retail investors piled on the company’s stock and rallied it by more than 2,500 percent. The shares have given up some of their gains and Gamestop is now valued at around $14 billion (roughly Rs.1,04,913 crore).

Since becoming president in June, Cohen has tried aggressively to improve the customer experience, but hasn’t offered a detailed plan for how GameStop will achieve its digital transformation.

The Grapevine, Texas-based company’s business selling video games for consoles faces competition from streaming services such as Apple, which allows users to play video games on their TV sets without a console.

Cohen recruited several executives from Amazon, including Furlong and Elliot Wilkie, who joined as chief development officer in March.

Public records and filings show that the company has hired dozens of new executives with supply chain and technology backgrounds from companies including Chevy and ecommerce company Zully.

Both sources said Cohen and Furlong have also laid off several senior employees in recent months who do not fit into their systems.

© Thomson Reuters 2021