GameStop has terminated CEO Matt Furlong who oversaw the company’s expansion into the world of NFTs. In a statement released today, GameStop announced the decision to remove Furlong from his position after two years with the company. The retailer has also made significant changes to its executive leadership.
CEO Termination and Leadership Changes:
After two years with the company, GameStop CEO Matt Furlong has been terminated, according to a statement released by the company today. Furlong oversaw the long-running retailer’s expansion into NFT collectibles via a marketplace for digital assets.
No replacement has been named yet, but the company has named billionaire investor and board chairman Ryan Cohen as its executive chairman. Cohen is the founder and former CEO of pet supplies online shop Chewy.
Mark Robinson—previously GameStop’s general counsel—has been named the company’s general manager and principal executive officer, per a 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
GameStop’s NFT Endeavors:
GameStop’s decision to terminate CEO Matt Furlong shines light on the retailer’s NFT venture. Furlong joined GameStop from Amazon in June 2021, shortly after the meme stock frenzy that rocketed the struggling retailer’s share price. The retailer had already teased plans to do something on Ethereum just before his hiring, but ultimately revealed its NFT marketplace and launched the platform during his tenure.
GameStop opened the NFT marketplace in June 2022 just as the broader NFT market was losing momentum. Initially focused on digital collectibles like artwork and profile pictures (PFPs), the marketplace later added support for Web3 games built on Ethereum scaling network Immutable X.
The retailer initially saw some excitement around the launch, with about $3.5 million worth of NFT sales within the first 48 hours, but trading on the platform appears to have fallen sharply since.
Challenges and Controversies
GameStop’s NFT push faced challenges and controversies. Industry resource DappRadar stopped sharing GameStop NFT data due to a lack of details regarding the Immutable X integration. GameStop’s own data lacks Immutable X sales. The website GMFT.xyz points to about $17.3 million worth of sales to date via the platform, but it’s unclear whether that data is complete.
GameStop’s NFT push was bolstered by a partnership with Immutable, the game publisher and Web3 startup behind Immutable X, which included a $100 million fund to provide token grants to game developers. However, GameStop faced controversy when it dumped $47 million worth of IMX tokens it received in the deal without hours of the February 2022 announcement.
Last December, Furlong said during an earnings call that the company would refocus on its core pillars of video games, pre-owned items, and collectibles—and put less focus on NFT and crypto-related efforts.
GameStop’s decision to terminate CEO Matt Furlong, who oversaw the retailer’s expansion into NFT collectibles, demonstrates the company’s evolving strategy. With the appointment of Ryan Cohen as the new executive chairman and Mark Robinson as the general manager, GameStop aims to refocus on its core business pillars.
The impact of these leadership changes on GameStop’s future direction and performance remains to be seen. The retailer’s NFT push faced challenges and controversies, but GameStop is now looking to prioritize its traditional strengths in video games