Reggie Fils-Aime Explains Why He Left GameStop

When Reggie Fils-Aime joined GameStop's board of directors just over two years ago, it seemed like a positive match for the company. The former Nintendo of America president helped that company during a difficult period, and it seemed possible he could do the same for GameStop. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, and Fils-Aime left GameStop's board after just one year. In a new interview at SXSW, Fils-Aime has finally opened up about his departure from GameStop, revealing that chairman Ryan Cohen did not seem to want his input about how to turn things around.

"The issue was that as the strategy was beginning to be developed, I asked to be part of the team to develop the strategy. I knew the business. I knew it as a consumer, I knew it as a vendor; I had pretty strong opinions on how the business needed to be pivoted. But I was rebuffed," Fils-Aime told Bloomberg. "The perspective was, 'Reggie, we want to keep the team small... so it's going to be myself [Cohen] and a few of the people I brought on board.'"

Fils-Aime went on to say that the leadership team has not revealed its strategy for moving GameStop forward, leaving the rest of the company in the dark about how things will improve. These factors convinced Fils-Aime that it was time to depart GameStop.

"I took that as code for, 'Thank you, but we really don't want any other ideas.' For me, that was not acceptable," said Fils-Aime.

It seems hard to believe that GameStop would have someone with Fils-Aime's level of experience with the video game industry and marketing, and not lean on him for assistance. Prior to working at Nintendo, Fils-Aime had successful stints at a number of major companies, including Guinness, VH1, and Pizza Hut. While Cohen and the rest of GameStop's leadership might not have wanted his input, it seems likely Fils-Aime won't have much difficulty finding success elsewhere!

Are you surprised GameStop didn't want Fils-Aime's help? Do you think Cohen will help GameStop find success? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

[H/T: GameSpot, Bloomberg]