GameStop’s CEO Is Getting Millions on His Way Out. He’s Not the Only One.

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GameStop’s CEO Is Getting Millions on His Way Out. He’s Not the Only One. | Latest News Live | Find the all top headlines, breaking news for free online April 25, 2021

It is a profitable time to be leaving

GameStop Corp.’s


GME 0.01%

C-suite as the run-up in the videogame retailer’s share worth has enabled 4 executives to depart with vested inventory now valued at roughly $290 million.

Separation agreements between GameStop and the 4 executives, together with Chief Executive Officer

George Sherman,

have provisions that permit inventory awarded throughout their tenure to vest after they go away. While such a dealing with of management transitions isn’t atypical, it does doubtlessly enable the executives to promote their shares close to GameStop’s traditionally excessive ranges.

GameStop’s shares closed Friday at $151.18. They hit an intraday peak of $483 in late January after ending 2020 at slightly below $19.

The fortunes the executives stand to gain, based mostly on a Wall Street Journal evaluation of current GameStop securities filings, mirror the fast and strange rise in the firm’s market worth because it turned a darling of particular person buyers and the focus of a turnaround steered by activist investor and Chewy Inc. co-founder

Ryan Cohen.

Three of the 4 executives joined the firm in 2019.

GameStop has stated that Mr. Sherman will step down by July 31 and that it’s trying to find his alternative. His exit settlement requires the accelerated vesting of greater than 1.1 million GameStop shares, in line with filings, valued at roughly $169 million as of Friday’s shut.

Mr. Sherman’s severance pay may have been larger. According to his separation settlement and GameStop’s current proxy submitting, the CEO agreed to surrender no less than $5 million in money, inventory valued at roughly $47 million as of Friday, and extra fairness awards. No cause was given for the adjustments, and Mr. Sherman declined to remark.

As of mid-April, Mr. Sherman held a roughly 2.4% stake in the firm, making him one in every of the largest particular person shareholders.

Restricted shares held by former GameStop finance chief

James Bell

vested April 1, in line with the proxy submitting. Those shares have been valued at $43.6 million as of Friday. The firm didn’t cite a cause for Mr. Bell’s departure, although the Journal reported that he was pushed out of the role by Mr. Cohen, in line with individuals acquainted with the matter.

Frank Hamlin,

who resigned as chief buyer officer final month, had restricted shares that vested April 7 and have been valued at $33.5 million as of Friday.

Chris Homeister,

who plans to resign as merchandising chief due to diminished duties, has almost 289,000 shares resulting from vest in reference to this exit. Those shares have been valued at round $43.6 million as of Friday.

Messrs. Bell, Hamlin and Homeister may earn further shares beneath their employment agreements based mostly on the firm’s efficiency this yr, in line with GameStop filings.

Mr. Bell declined to remark. Messrs. Hamlin and Homeister couldn’t be reached for remark.

Granting shares as a part of compensation packages is a longstanding observe supposed to align executives’ pursuits with shareholders’ pursuits. As an organization’s efficiency or outlook improves, the pondering goes, share costs ought to rise, and each executives and shareholders profit.

Big payouts for departing executives, particularly longtime ones, aren’t uncommon. Former T-Mobile US Inc. boss

John Legere

collected more than $137 million in compensation in 2020, in line with a securities submitting Wednesday. Most of that got here from the then-chief govt’s severance cost after greater than seven years atop the telecommunications firm, in addition to fairness that vested early upon his departure and bonuses tied to the firm’s profitable completion of its merger with Sprint Corp.

Mr. Sherman’s compensation for the 2020 fiscal yr was valued at $7.2 million, most of which got here from inventory awards, in line with a proxy submitting. That determine contains about $1.5 million in shares that Mr. Sherman is giving up beneath his departure settlement. His complete compensation in the prior yr was $12.4 million, the first yr he served as CEO.

The payouts for Messrs. Sherman and Legere mirror a broader trend of CEO compensation surging in 2020. Median pay for the chief executives of greater than 300 of the largest U.S. public firms reached $13.7 million final yr, up from $12.8 million for the identical firms a yr earlier and on observe for a report, a current Journal evaluation concludes.

Mr. Sherman joined GameStop in April 2019, just a few months after the firm didn’t discover a purchaser. He turned the firm’s fifth CEO since 2017 and pledged to show the retailer round. During his tenure, GameStop was in a position to scale back its prices and debt, however the enterprise has struggled. Revenue fell to almost $5.1 billion in the yr ended Jan. 30 from $6.5 billion in the prior yr. Losses topped $686 million in the previous two fiscal years mixed.

To enhance its outlook, the firm final month tapped Mr. Cohen, former boss of on-line pet-supplies firm Chewy, to move a committee devoted to creating the enterprise extra tech-centric by focusing extra on e-commerce. Mr. Sherman lately stated he expects GameStop to learn from plans to develop the firm’s product choice to make it much less dependent on the releases of latest sport consoles from the likes of

Sony Group Corp.

and

Microsoft Corp.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected] and Theo Francis at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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