GameStop’s CEO, Matt Furlong, has been terminated after two years with the company. Furlong played a vital role in the retailer’s expansion into the world of NFTs through a marketplace for digital assets. With no immediate replacement announced, the company has named billionaire investor and board chairman Ryan Cohen as its executive chairman, while appointing Mark Robinson, GameStop’s former general counsel, as general manager and “principal executive officer.”
The share price of GameStop fell by approximately 19% in after-hours trading after the news broke, dipping to a little over $21 per share. Interestingly, the company’s share price had reached a 2023 high of over $26 per share earlier in the day. Furlong initially joined GameStop in June 2021 after a viral, meme-driven frenzy boosted the struggling company’s stock price.
During Furlong’s tenure, the company unveiled and launched its NFT marketplace, which opened in June 2022, at a time when the broader NFT market was slowing down. Though the platform initially experienced some excitement and garnered $3.5 million in sales within the first 48 hours, trading has reportedly decreased sharply since then.
Concerns have arisen about the accuracy and completeness of GameStop’s NFT data, as industry resource DappRadar ceased sharing information about the company due to a lack of detail regarding its integration with the Ethereum-scaling network, Immutable X. However, it has been speculated that sales through the platform could amount to around $17.3 million.
While GameStop’s foray into the NFT market was facilitated by a partnership with Immutable and a $100 million fund intended to offer token grants to participating game developers, the retailer faced scrutiny in February 2022 for disposing of $47 million worth of IMX tokens received through the partnership. This occurred just hours after the collaboration was announced.
Later in December 2021, Furlong stated during an earnings call that GameStop would concentrate on its core pillars, including video games, pre-owned items, and collectibles. He added that the company would place less emphasis on NFTs and crypto-related ventures and would keep meaningful stockholder capital out of the crypto sphere.
Given these developments, it remains to be seen how GameStop will navigate both its leadership changes and its future involvement in the NFT and crypto markets. While the company’s digital collectible pursuits initially drew great interest and profits, skepticism about their ongoing potential appears to have grown, potentially impacting the corporation’s overall trajectory.