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UPDATE 3-GameStop CFO to step down after Reddit driven stock rally

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Jessica DiNapoli and Subrat Patnaik
·2 min read
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(Recasts and updates throughout with GameStop share performanceduring the retail frenzy, background on Bell)

By Jessica DiNapoli and Subrat Patnaik

NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - GameStop ChiefFinancial Officer Jim Bell will step down next month, the videogame retailer said on Tuesday, as it focuses on shifting intotechnology-driven sales in the wake of headline-grabbing bigbetting in its stock.

GameStop said Bell's resignation was not due to anydisagreement with the company relating to its operations,including accounting principles and practices.

However, a source said that while Bell's exit was unrelatedto the recent wild swings in GameStop's stock spurred by retailtraders on the Reddit social media site, his departure wasinitiated by the company.

The source, a person familiar with the firm's thinking, said

GameStop had become dissatisfied with Bell as it works totransform into a technology-oriented business and was notconfident he would be the right CFO moving forward.

Bell, who will leave the company on March 26, previouslyworked at brick-and-mortar retailers Gap Inc andColdwater Creek and restaurant chain P. F. Chang's China Bistro,according to his LinkedIn profile. He did not respond torequests for comment.

Shares of GameStop fell about 5% to $42.75 in extendedtrading after the announcement. The stock has risen about 140%this year, after paring most of the gains that sent shortsellers scrambling to cover losing bets and saw the company hita record high of $482.95.

GameStop has also been targeted by shareholders pushing itto focus more on digital sales rather than its mall-basedlocations.

New directors focused on this strategy have recently joinedits board and the source said those additions had helped createmore momentum for the CFO transition.

GameStop said it has begun a search for a permanent CFO,adding that it would appoint Chief Accounting Officer DianaJajeh as interim CFO if a permanent replacement was not foundbefore Bell's departure.(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik, Ankit Ajmera and Nivedita Balu inBengaluru, and Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by ShaileshKuber and Jane Wardell)