An open letter to GameStop executive chairman Ryan Cohen: Morning Brief

Dear Ryan,

In this former analyst’s humble opinion, you are failing mightily at GameStop and it's costing average investors major money.

Do better. Way better. This is painful to watch.

You have a handpicked board of directors — mostly comprised of people you worked with at Chewy. At Chewy, you created an online retailer that millions of people love. Yet, the magic you found there hasn't fixed GameStop. Some would say the business has gotten worse!

First quarter 2023 sales: down 10.3% year over year. First quarter 2023 net loss: $50.5 million versus a net loss of $157.9 million a year ago.

In 2022 and 2021 combined, GameStop lost $694.4 million according to your latest annual report.

You failed at picking a management team and developing them based on the turnover under your kingdomship.

For all his miscues, how couldn't a former Amazon exec in Matt Furlong find some form of success at GameStop? One good quarter maybe? The CFO you picked was canned in July 2022 after about a year on the job.

While I am at it, why isn’t there any list of C-suite executives on the GameStop investor page? Showing these bios are standard practice for public companies.

All of that's on you as a leader, Ryan.

The company remains structurally challenged because of increasing digital game downloads. You still have more than 4,000 retail stores open globally despite more people buying goods and services online. Your push into NFTs failed. Your move to open more fulfillment centers has arguably failed due to top line pressures that aren't going away.

Sales of collectibles — a key focus area by management — plunged 22% in the first quarter.

There is still no reason for the non-gamer to enter a GameStop store. That's a problem, in my view.

Of course, I have not created a huge business like you did at Chewy. Nor have I sold a large business to another company like you did when selling Chewy to Petsmart in 2017. I also haven't taken a company public, as Chewy went in 2019.

I commend you on putting in the late nights to make these things happen. I am a fan of heart and hustle stories.

I also don't have the vast wealth — which you earned through Chewy! — available to me, and that means I am unable to overthrow a public company's board of directors and treat a company like a personal playground. Which is what has happened at GameStop, in my view.

This bank account means you have more influence in public markets than I do, and could push around your weight. And have. Your past moves in Bed Bath & Beyond and Nordstrom — and bizarre tweets — show you are willing to put your money where your mouth is to make a point.

It's your money, and you may choose to do with it as you see fit. We live in a capitalistic system, after all.

But you are failing GameStop.

And perhaps your biggest failure is the lack of communication to the average investor community.

A series of 8-minute-long earnings calls the past two years led by Furlong, with no Q&A? Are you kidding?

Not a single investor-focused event detailing your grand plan?

I get being cryptic for competitive reasons, but you are a public company executive. Investors deserve to know about the vision for a company controlled by you personally and your handpicked board.

The average investor has placed a ton of faith in you, Ryan. They have spent hours upon hours reviewing GameStop's financials, supporting you on social media, and the comment sections on Yahoo Finance, among other places.

It's time you show them the respect they deserve. The Ryan Cohen we talked with at Yahoo Finance in 2019 seemed to be someone that would at least entertain the thought of caring about the average guy.

Be that Ryan Cohen again. Investors deserve it… and have earned it by supporting you blindly for two plus years.

Note: A spokesperson for Ryan Cohen didn't return Yahoo Finance's request to make Ryan Cohen available for an interview for this piece.

Brian Sozzi is Yahoo Finance's Executive Editor. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn. Tips on the banking crisis? Email

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