Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
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 share price has fallen about 19% in after-hours trading, per Google Finance, to a current price just above $21 per share. The share price had hit a new 2023 peak above $26 per share today ahead of the announcement.
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.
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.
He said that GameStop—which faced multiple rounds of layoffs during Furlong’s tenure—“will not risk meaningful stockholder capital in this space,” referring to the crypto industry, according to video game publication GameSpot.