WallStreetBets Prophecy Fulfilled: Ryan Cohen Becomes GameStop Chairman

Many of the things Redditors on WallStreetBets were hoping would happen to GameStop are now happening to GameStop. In an earnings report last week, the company announced its sales were up 11 percent during the first nine weeks of 2021 compared to the same time in 2020. Its e-commerce sales nearly tripled in 2020. And now, the biggest news: Former Chewy CEO Ryan Cohen, the “tendieman” who Reddit investors have long suggested would lead the company “to the moon” is becoming GameStop’s Chairman.

WallStreetBets, predictably, has lost its collective shit over the news: “DADDY DADDY!!” one post reads. “I’m jacked to the tits,” another said.

Cohen’s rise at GameStop has been long prophesied by posters on WallStreetBets, who earlier this year drove GameStop’s stock price through the roof with a buying frenzy that resulted in Congressional hearings and made many traditional investors lose their minds. 

Cohen has become something of a cult figure among the people who invested in GameStop, because he turned the online pet store Chewy into an e-commerce juggernaut and made a large investment in GameStop toward the end of last year. He joined the board of investors when he made that initial investment, and hopeful Redditors believed he could do for GameStop what he did for Chewy. Redditors have been clamoring for Cohen’s rise for months and have suggested that if he gained more power at the company, it would become highly successful.

The thinking from people who “like the stock”—meaning they invested in GameStop because they say they believe it is a fundamentally sound company (versus a get-rich-quick scheme)—is that Cohen could transform GameStop into a company that makes a lot of its money by focusing more heavily to ecommerce. The company has been struggling in recent years because of the shift to downloadable and streaming video games, but GameStop is the only major brick-and-mortar retailer focused on video games, a gigantic and growing industry. If Cohen can pivot the business, investors say, there’s tons of room for growth. 

GameStop stock has yo-yoed quite a bit over the last two months. It has not reached the dizzying heights it did in early February, when a so-called “short squeeze” pushed stock prices to more than $400 per share. But it has mainly stayed between $100 and $250 per share, a huge increase over its price in early December, when it began its meteoric rise. The stock was up a few percent Thursday morning after the Cohen news.

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