This morning news broke that GameStop's CEO Michael Mauler, who just took over as CEO in February, has stepped down unexpectedly due to "personal reasons." This, according to CNBC.
JUST IN: GameStop says its CEO, Michael K. Mauler, has resigned for "personal reasons, effective immediately" and appoints Daniel A. DeMatteo as its interim chief executive officer. GameStop shares are currently halted for news pending. https://t.co/baADHRuo34— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 11, 2018
While the circumstances surrounding Mauler's resignation and departure are still a mystery, according to CNBC, GameStop has said that his resignation is not due to any potential fraud. It was also noted, however, that he will not be leaving with severance or any separation benefits. Dan DeMatteo, one of the co-founders of GameStop will be acting as interim CEO for now. Trading has been halted until GameStop makes the news official and public.
As we mentioned, this will be the second major shift in leadership at GameStop in the past five months. Readers will no doubt remember the regrettable passing of former GameStop CEO Paul Raines back in March, and with Mauler's recent departure, we're wondering who might step up and take on the leadership role at GameStop during what could be its most pivotal years of transition.
You don't have to be a hardcore gamer to realize that the industry is swiftly transitioning to become a more digitally-founded marketplace. More games are downloaded than purchased physically these days, which has forced companies like GameStop (and other brick-and-mortar shops) to rethink how they do business. Loyalty programs, licensed toys, and a robust trading program have all helped bolster GameStop's model over the past few years, but further innovation and integration into the digital age is still needed.
The CNBC correspondents certainly are not hardcore gamers, but talking amongst themselves, even they were able to see that games like Fortnite are changing the industry for consumers and for publishers. In a day and age where young gamers can go online and download the world's most popular video game for free and play with their friends, what incentive, what urgency, might parents and gamers have to head down to GameStop? Why wait in line for a midnight release when you can have the next big game pre-downloaded to your system and ready to play when the clock strikes 12?
These are the kinds of questions that GameStop's next CEO will have to answer, and we're eager to see who is appointed to meet these challenges. We'll keep you all updated as we learn more.