Billionaire Ryan Cohen, the largest individual investor in GameStop, is taking over as CEO at the video game retailer.
Cohen is already the board chairman and the company’s largest individual investor. GameStop said in a statement that Cohen won’t receive compensation for serving as its president, CEO and chairman.
The CEO job at GameStop, which became one of the most well-known meme stocks to create a frenzy among retail traders on Wall Street, has become a rotating door with the company trying to survive as technology upends the gaming industry.
In June, the company fired CEO Matthew Furlong, the former Amazon executive who was brought in two years ago to turn the struggling video game retailer around.
Shares of Gamestop Corp. spiked 7% Thursday before the opening bell.
Cohen’s holding company RC Ventures is the biggest investor in GameStop, holding about a 12% stake. Cohen co-founded Chewy, the online pet supply company, and had hoped to modernize GameStop, founded in 1984.
Cohen began snapping up large stakes of GameStop at a time when the company was being buffeted by new technology. Gamers no longer needed GameStop because they were downloading games, rather than buying digital discs.
GameStop’s meme stock story is so intriguing that a movie was created about it, called “ Dumb Money.” The company’s shares took off two years ago after a band of smaller-pocketed investors helped boost its stock 1,000% in two weeks.