Retail appointments of the week

GameStop names billionaire Ryan Cohen as CEO in turnaround push

By Aditya Soni of Reuters

GameStop on Thursday named billionaire Ryan Cohen as its CEO and chairman, tightening the activist investor’s grip on the ailing video game retailer that he intends to turn around.

The brick-and-mortar retailer that once attracted gamers has struggled in the age of online downloads, drawing it to the heart of a clash in 2021 between hedge funds betting on its demise and retail traders pumping up its price.

At the peak of that meme stock rally, Cohen, GameStop’s largest investor, joined the board to aid a pivot to e-commerce.

His shot to fame was building up an online pet products retailer Chewy into a powerhouse that he sold for $5.4 billion in 2017.

Cohen became executive chairman at Gamestop in June after former CEO Matt Furlong was ousted. The company said he will relinquish that title and will not receive any compensation for his new roles.

The billionaire had initially tried to steer GameStop aggressively toward a more online-focused model as the chain, dependent on physical stores, looked to revive its business.

But he has backtracked on some of those e-commerce plans, relying more on GameStop’s brick-and-mortar stores and using them as places where customers can pick up online orders.

The company’s quarterly earnings earlier this month signaled that the strategy was working as strong demand for video games, collectibles and consoles helped GameStop post a smaller-than-expected loss and revenue that beat estimates.

Still, there are concerns among analysts about the slow pace of change at GameStop and Cohen’s mixed record as an activist investor at the companies he has targeted, including bankrupt retailer Bed Bath & Beyond and Nordstrom.

The company has seen several executive departures in recent years, with former chief operating officer Jenna Owens leaving in October 2021 just seven months after joining.

Former finance chief Michael Recupero, who was hired at the same time as Furlong, was terminated last year.

“The appointment of the controlling shareholder reflects the difficulty GameStop has had in attracting executives,” said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

“We remain convinced that GameStop is doomed as declining physical software sales and a shift of sales to subscriptions and digital downloads seal its fate.”

The video-game retailer’s shares have lost more than 80% of their value since the record high in 2021, including a more than 7% decline this year. They were trading 2% lower on Thursday.

Cotton On names Natalie McLean as CEO of Typo, Factorie, Supre, Ceres Life

By Celene Ignacio

Cotton On Group has appointed Natalie McLean as CEO of the emerging brands Typo, Factorie, Supre, and Ceres Life.

McLean had served as the group’s chief retail officer for nearly six years and as GM of Cotton On Kids for almost five years.

Prior to that, McLean worked as retail general manager at Rip Curl, product manager at Giordano, and as GM for the Cotton On Group for more than nine years.

Eataly names new CEO

By Dean Blake

Italian restaurant chain and retail group Eataly has named Tommaso Brusò as chief executive of North America, starting October 2. 

Brusò has previously served as CEO at Colourful Standard and Diesel North America, and brings significant senior leadership experience across the retail sector, Eataly said.

Group CEO of Eataly, Andrea Cipolloni, said Brusò’s experience will be instrumental to the brand’s development in the North American market.

“The CEO North America position is a newly created role [and] Tommaso arrives at an important time for the Group and will be instrumental to the development and growth of a market of primary importance for Eataly,” Cipolloni said.

Brusò added that, having spent a lot of time in New York City, he has always been a big fan of the brand, and said that his experience in the fashion space will help bring Eataly to the next level.

Canada Goose reveals leadership shakeup

By Dean Blake

Luxury outerwear brand Canada Goose has revealed a number of high-profile leadership changes in both executive and non-executive roles. 

The business’ APAC president, Paul Cadman, has stepped down, as has chief product officer Woody Blackford. Additionally, the business named Marjan Anwar Khan as its new chief technology officer.

Its board of directors is also shifting, with Josh Bekenstein stepping down to be replaced by Jennifer Davis, a partner at Bain Capital Private Equity. Gary Saage, former group chief financial officer at Richemont, is also joining the board.

While the business has replaced some of these gaps, it is still searching for suitable candidates for others.

“While we actively replace these roles, we remain confident in the strong leadership team at Canada Goose who will actively manage these areas in the interim,” the business said.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.