The executive, once instrumental to the company’s NFT efforts, was “terminated” amid lackluster Q1 earnings.
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 — was promoted to the role of Executive Chairman. Minutes after the company announced Furlong’s termination, the new GameStop 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 SEC 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.
Matt Furlong only had a 24 month contract with Gamestop
— Victoria L. Bolton (@vickilaketta) June 8, 2023
The news came alongside Gamestop’s first quarter earnings call, which saw the gaming company report an earnings per share (EPS) 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 first launched its NFT marketplace in June 2022, just as the market’s fascination with NFTs was beginning to wane. 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, witnessing nearly $2 million in sales within 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, Gamestop announced that it would no longer be focusing any major efforts towards cryptocurrencies or NFTs, following on from 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 announced a partnership 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.