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GameStop CFO to step down after Reddit-led stock rally

NEW YORK: The video game retailer said Tuesday that GameStop CFO Jim Bell will step down next month as he focuses on shifting to technology-driven sales in the wake of the big bet on its shares.

GameStop said Bell’s resignation was not due to any disagreement with the company regarding its operations, including accounting principles and practices.

However, a source said that although Bell’s exit had nothing to do with the recent extreme swings in GameStop stocks spurred by retailers on the social media site Reddit, it was the company that started his departure.

The source, who is someone familiar with the company’s thinking, said GameStop had become dissatisfied with Bell as she was working on the transformation into a technology-oriented company and was unsure he would be the right CFO going forward.

Bell, who will leave the company on March 26, has previously worked at traditional retailer Gap Inc, Coldwater Creek and PF Chang’s China Bistro restaurant chain, according to his LinkedIn profile. He did not respond to requests for comment.

GameStop shares were down about 5% to $ 42.75 in extended trading after the announcement.

The stock is up nearly 140% this year, after paring most of the gains that prompted short sellers to scramble to cover losing bets and saw the company hit a record high of $ 482.95.

GameStop has also been targeted by contributors and pushed to focus more on digital sales rather than their mall locations.

New directors focused on this strategy recently joined its board of directors and the source said these additions helped create more momentum for the CFO’s transition.

GameStop said it has begun searching for a permanent finance director, adding that it will appoint Diana Gage, the financial accounting director, as the interim CFO if no permanent replacement is found prior to Bell’s departure.

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