GameStop has fired its CEO Matt Furlong, the executive responsible for launching the company’s push into nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
According to a June 7 statement, Furlong was terminated, while Ryan Cohen — a billionaire investor held in high esteem by memestock traders following the notorious GameStop short squeeze in 2021 — was promoted to the role of executive chairman. Minutes after the company announced Furlong’s termination, Cohen tweeted a cryptic message stating, “Not for long.“
Not for long— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) June 7, 2023
The company did not provide a reason for Furlong’s termination. However, according to an 8-K filing made to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 9, 2021, Furlong’s contract specified 24 months of ongoing employment. In parallel, Furlong resigned as the director of the company, reducing the size of the board to five individuals.
The news came alongside GameStop’s first quarter earnings call, which saw the gaming company report earnings per share that missed market expectations by more than 133%.
The company’s share price has plummeted to $21, currently down 19% in after-hours trading, according to data from Google Finance.
Furlong joined GameStop as its CEO in June 2021, five months after the memestock frenzy that saw GameStop shares surge 3,000% from $17.25 to $500 within a single month.
GameStop launched its NFT marketplace in June 2022, just as the market’s fascination with NFTs waned. GameStop later added support for blockchain game NFTs on its marketplace, a move made possible by its partnership with Web3 gaming platform and Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution ImmutableX.
The company’s NFT marketplace debut was well-received, with nearly $2 million in sales in the first 24 hours of the platform going online. However, things took a turn for the worse rather quickly. By August, daily sales volumes on the marketplace were hovering around the $4,000 mark — a 99.8% decline from its opening-day frenzy.
In December 2022, GameStop announced it would no longer focus any major efforts toward cryptocurrencies or NFTs, following a lousy Q3 earnings call that saw the company stack up $94.7 million in net losses and begin laying off staff.
Despite these statements, GameStop recently partnered with the Australia-based blockchain game developer, Illuvium, to debut a 20,000 NFT collection.
GameStop and Matt Furlong have not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.