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GameStop CFO Jim Bell will resign after Reddit stock trading frenzy on March 26

After weeks of headline-grabbing attention from a social media-powered stock trading frenzy, GameStop declared Tuesday its Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell will resign his job viable on March 26.

An explanation behind Jim Bell’s resignation was not promptly clear. In an SEC filing on Tuesday, GameStop said Bell’s resignation was “not because of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices, including accounting principles and practices.”

As indicated by a different SEC filing itemizing the details of Jim Bell’s employment agreement when he joined the retailer in 2019, Bell could “terminate his employment within 12 months due to any of the following” five events:

A material reduction in Executive’s Base Salary or the Target Amount of Executive’s annual bonus opportunity;

A material decrease in Executive’s responsibilities, authority, or duties;

Some other material break of this Agreement by the Company;

The Company migrates Executive’s principal worksite outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area; or

In case of a sale of substantially all the business and resources of the Company, a failure of the Company to assign, or a refusal of the principal buyer of resources to assume, the Company’s then proceeding with commitments under this Agreement.

Under any of these events, Jim Bell was needed to give notice within 90 days, with GameStop having 30 days to “remedy the condition.”

FOX Business asked GameStop which of these “events” triggered Bell’s resignation yet a representative for GameStop declined to comment further on the declaration.

In the organization’s press release declaring the change, GameStop said thanks to Jim Bell “for his significant contributions and leadership, including his efforts over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

GameStop had been battling even before the pandemic devastated the retail sector reporting store closures to remain afloat. The organization’s stock became an objective of short-sellers. Hedge funds monster Melvin Capital was one of the greatest short and ultimately, the firm found itself in a face-to-face standoff with retail investors on forums like Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets.

The social media platform pushed a trading frenzy that saw the cost of GameStop’s shares ascend to $347.51 toward the finish of January in the wake of trading the low double digits only weeks sooner. On Tuesday the stock shut at $44.97.

The action started new worries about market instability and spurred hearings on Capitol Hill.

Jim Bell was named to the CFO and executive VP role in June 2019. Before joining GameStop, Bell served as CFO and interim CEO of Wok Holdings, Inc., the parent organization of P.F. Chang’s, Pei Wei, and True Food Kitchen restaurants.

He additionally previously served as executive VP and CFO at RLH Corporation and president and CEO of Coldwater Creek, Inc. Furthermore, he held senior finance roles at Harry & David Holdings, Inc. and The Gap prior in his career.

Jim Bell got his MBA from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy. Following graduation, Bell served as a Naval Flight Officer leading squadron and flight operations in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1998.

The organization has launched a search for Jim Bell’s permanent replacement, taking note that they are looking for a CFO with “the capabilities and qualifications to help accelerate GameStop’s transformation.” The search, which will assess both internal and external candidates, is being led by a “leading executive search firm.”

If a permanent substitution isn’t set up at the time of Bell’s departure, GameStop expects to appoint a chief accounting officer and senior VP Diana Jajeh for the job of interim CFO.

Jaejeh, who started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and subsequently held senior jobs at organizations including Visa and e.l.f. Cosmetics has over two decades of experience as an auditor, comptroller, and corporate finance executive.

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