Who owns GameStop now? Here's how CEO George Sherman's 2.3 million shares skyrocketed from $7M to $745M
GameStop is mired in controversies that involve billionaire Elon Musk and a group of Reddit users. Here's the list of people who own major shares in the company now
How did a place to buy a video game become a battleground? GameStop — the world's largest retail gaming destination — is mired in controversies that involve billionaire Elon Musk and a group of Reddit users. Bizarre, isn't it?
The conflict first arose when the financial elite had to accept defeat from smaller investors over big bets that the stock would fall. If reports are to be believed, GameStop's stock skyrocketed to $380 in comparison to $18 — up by an unbelievable 1,700 percent — just a few weeks ago. As a consequence, it cost hedge funds billions and even prompted the CEO of the Nasdaq Exchange Adena Friedman to propose a trading halt.
Interestingly, the trading buzz first sparked on Reddit on a forum called r/WallStreetBets. On Tuesday, January 26 the shares were boosted by Tesla CEO Musk, who tweeted “Gamestonk!!” along with a link to Reddit's WallStreetBets stock trading discussion group, where he is popular as “Papa Musk”. For the unversed, “stonks” is a tongue-in-cheek term for stocks widely used on social media. Now, Discord has banned the Reddit forum over “hate speech” and it has led to quite an uproar.
So how did the controversy begin and who owns GameStop? Let's find out.
What is r/WallStreetBets?
WallStreetBets, a Reddit subgroup said to be behind the massive surge of GameStop shares, came under the scanner and its servers were banned on chat app Discord on January 26. Clarifying their stance in an official statement, Discord said: “To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Saying there were allegations of illegal activities, they added they will cooperate with authorities as appropriate.”
In no time, Reddit moderators went private but released a lengthy message titled “Where do we go from here and who is going to step up to help us?” addressing the scandal and hurling accusations at Discord to “destroy” their r/WallStreetBets community.
YouTuber and finance guru, Roaring Kitty, is now being dubbed the mastermind who led the Redditors and paid around $56,000 to build a stake of 50,000 shares. Can you believe the shares are worth $16 million now? Little is known about him but he does have 16,000 followers on Twitter and a little over 57,000 subscribers on his official YouTube channel along with an account on StockTwits, a community for investors and traders.
How was GameStop founded?
Founders of the Company: Leonard Riggio | Daniel DeMatteo | Richard Fontaine
In 1984, two Harvard Business School classmates — James McCurry and Gary M Kusin — founded Babbage's, a Dallas, Texas-based software retailer which was named after Charles Babbage. An early investor named Ross Perot helped them open its first store in Dallas's North Park Center. Their focus shifted to video games and Babbage's began selling Nintendo games in 1987. A year later, the company went public, and by 1991, video games helped it get around two-thirds of sales.
From 1994 to 1996, Babbage's merged with Software Etc and went on to create NeoStar Retail Group. As the companies were merged, Babbage's founder McCurry took the seat of NeoStar chairman. Kusin retained his title of President and Daniel DeMatteo remained the Software Etc President. Software Etc chairman Leonard Riggio became chairman of NeoStar's executive committee.
Soon after, Kusin resigned to start his cosmetics company and DeMatteo was promoted to Kusin's role. McCurry then became NeoStar CEO. In 1996, when DeMatteo quit, McCurry assumed the title of president and soon, the company had to file for bankruptcy.
Leonard Riggio, a founder of Software Etc and stockholder of Barnes & Noble then bought it for around $58 million. Under him, the company became Babbage's Etc. Richard 'Dick' Fontaine came on board as chief executive and DeMatteo re-entered as COO and president. Three years later, in 1999, the company launched its GameStop brand with 30 stores and a website called gamestop.com. Together, the trio — Riggio, DeMatteo and Fontaine — became known as the founders of GameStop.
Who owns GameStop now?
CEO of the Company: George Sherman
In the next few years, a series of reshuffling of titles took place as DeMatteo replaced Fontaine as CEO and J Paul Raines became the COO. In June 2010, Raines stepped into DeMatteo's shoes and became GameStop CEO. DeMatteo was named executive chairman of the company.
In 2017, Raines took a sudden long medical leave and announced his resignation on January 31, 2018. On March 4, 2018, Raines died after battling a brain tumor. DeMatteo, GameStop's executive chairman, stepped in as the interim chief executive officer.
Soon after, Michael K Mauler took the role of the CEO for a few months. He resigned in May 2018 citing “personal reasons” leaving the reins in DeMatteo's hands. Then, Shane Kim was named as interim CEO, replaced by George Sherman in March 2019.
With over 25 years of experience, Sherman's bio reads, “He received his master’s degree from Central Michigan University and served as an officer in the United States Air Force for nearly seven years. George is an active community volunteer with veteran’s causes and currently serves on the board of directors of Building Homes for Heroes, which builds mortgage-free homes catered to the unique needs of disabled veterans.”
Who are the stock owners?
Here's a summary of the Top Holders from the official website:
What is the net worth of GameStop?
Before we get to the income and net worth of GameStop, isn't it ironic that a company incurring losses as high as $275 million in the last 12 months suddenly went through a steep rise? According to Celebrity Net Worth, one year ago a single share of GME would cost a little under $4 and in 2021, it costs approximately $324.28!
In 2019, when Sherman came on board, he was given 2.3 million shares worth $23 million. A year later, its value dropped to around $7 million after the share price trickled to an all-time low of around $3. Currently, Sherman's shares are worth a whopping $745 million!
Here's a list of people who own major shares and how much it is worth now:
Owns 2.3 million shares. Formerly worth $7 million. Currently worth $745 million.
(Former CFO from 2010 to 2019)
Owns 534,000 shares. Formerly worth $1.6 million. Currently worth $173 million.
Owns 511,000 shares. Formerly worth $1.5 million. Currently worth $165 million.
(Chief Merchandising Officer)
Owns 507,000 shares. Formerly worth $1 million. Currently worth $123 million.
Paid around $56,000 to build a stake of 50,000 shares. Currently worth $16 million.
*All figures and calculations are from Celebrity Net Worth and may vary with time.