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Why GameStop Stock Is Rising Today

By Rich Duprey – Nov 1, 2021 at 1:13PM

Key Points

  • GameStop announced the departure of its chief operating officer seven months after she assumed the position.
  • No reason was given for the separation.
  • It doesn't seem as if the video game retailer will seek to replace her.

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Volatility with the video game retailer's stock is centered more on its business this time.

What happened

Shares of GameStop (GME 14.04%) were running 5.6% higher heading into noontime trading Monday despite the announcement the video game retailer's chief operating officer (COO) had quit just seven months after taking the job.

The news was dumped on the market late Friday after the stock exchange had closed for the weekend.

Men walking through revolving door

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Companies strive for orderly executive transitions, and though a sudden departure of a chief executive officer or chief financial officer might be more worrisome, the loss of the COO isn't a minor transition. 

According to a terse filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jenna Owens left the company on Oct. 25 for unspecified reasons. Her responsibilities as COO and executive vice president are going to be assumed by others in the C-suite, so it does not seem like a replacement will be sought out at this time. She had been appointed to the job on March 23.

Reuters reports the "separation agreement" entered into between Owens and GameStop is often used when the executive and a company don't agree, whether on policy or direction.

Now what

GameStop investors shrugged off the news, possibly because at this point it was old news, which is often why companies release potentially disruptive news on Friday evenings. It gives investors time to digest the report, or at best, forget about it by the time Monday rolls around.

The video game retailer, of course, has been subject to wild swings in its stock price this year due to the meme stock trading frenzy, so the fact that GameStop's shares are rising on what could be interpreted as "bad" news is not necessarily surprising.

Owens, though, was one of the executives whom chairman Ryan Cohen imported from Amazon in his bid to transform the video game stock into the "Amazon of gaming."

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1,920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1,940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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