Jordan Holberg is an eccentric geek, gamer, decentralist, funny-guy, and now GameStop’s Principal Engineer, confirmed via Twitter and LinkedIn today. 

GameStop has revealed very little about what their Blockchain and NFT projects consist of. Upon finding Jordan Holberg, GameStop’s latest hire on LinkedIn, GMEdd was compelled to dig deeper.

You’re Hired

In Jordan’s hiring announcement, he reveals personal nostalgia for Babbage’s, the company that GameStop used to be. The gamer describes his childhood visits to the brick-and-mortar retailer, alongside his decentralized ideals.

As Principal Engineer for GameStop,  and … with my analog childhood and digital adolescence, I am the bridge between the old and the new — traditional “legacy” ecommerce and the next generation of blockchain.

Holberg states that he believes working for the new GameStop is a truly unique opportunity, with a company at the center of the zeitgeist, well-positioned to make a significant and positive impact.

If I’m going back to full-time and potentially having to wear pants again, you know I’m excited.

The update makes it clear: Jordan is a nostalgic gamer with an impressive ecommerce and blockchain background.

The Principal Engineer shares his excited outlook for the future of GameStop, bridging “traditional ecommerce”, which he refers to as a legacy business, and blockchain, all wrapped up in what may be the most fun LinkedIn profile we’ve come across yet.

past experience

Jordan Holberg’s past indicates why he would be such a critical hire for the transforming gaming retailer. Jordan was Barneys.com’s first employee, granting him valuable experience working as a trailblazer in retail brick and mortar pivots to ecommerce. 

Holberg states some of his major accomplishments while growing Barneys New York:

  • $0 to $180 million+ revenue
  • Responsible for barneys.com front-end and technical back-end, including management of 30k+ active SKUs
  • Achieved highest EBITDA across all Barneys’ doors

After Barneys, he later moved on to contract work as a self-proclaimed Digital Fixer working for various high profile clients. Holberg states that his clients included: Ogilvy, TBWA/Chiat/Day, TOWN Real Estate, Extell, Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, BorderFree, Amway, IBM, and many others.

Jordan quipped in March, around the same time GameStop’s NFT project commenced, that his “head is full of use-cases and functionality NFT can unlock across finance, social media and gaming”.

He describes a project he had been building, named Hodlberg, that works to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of blockchain and NFTs.

Hodlberg Financial’s Official FAQ page states it lets one “attest” their cryptocurrency holdings and mint a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain. The minted Hodlberg NFT aggregates all attested wallet balances into one convenient token, without compromising privacy. The balance and token data aggregated into your Hodlberg NFT is always up-to-date.

This allows for some interesting possibilities, including among other things, most notably for GameStop, “a unique, evolving, in-game asset”.

Eccentric As Hell

According to his LinkedIn, Holberg attended NYU from 1999-2002, where he was actually a cat donning a red headband.

Seriously. If you ever needed proof we live in a simulation, here it is.

The resemblance to famous GameStop investor Roaring Kitty does not end there.

Jordan Holberg really, really, loves cats.

His love for feline friends dates back at least 7 years, to this photo in an office space.

Jordan even has a personal website, jordanholberg.com, which features lolcatz language sprawled from top-to-bottom and a giant CLICK ME button in the famous impact font often used in meme culture.

When we saw this, we pondered what clicking the button will do. Could it reveal GameStop’s purpose for venturing into blockchain? 

Well, we clicked it, and it just plays Holberg’s favorite music.

Here are the songs you will hear if you sit on his website for long enough:

  • Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Take a Look at me now)
  • Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
  • Eddie Money – Take Me Home Tonight
  • Heart – Alone
  • Mike + the Mechanics – All I Need Is a Miracle
  • The Outfields – I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight
  • Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares To You
  • Asia – Heat of the Moment
  • Human League – Human
  • The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

Not only does Holberg’s site bring a sense of nostalgia to his work, his choice in music cannot be beat.

There is more to his homepage than you can see on the surface. Knowing his site will be crawling with speculative investors seeking clues and puzzle pieces, a quick search of the website’s code shows his humorous personality.

ooo look at you! so clever!

????????????????????

The headband-wearing, classic rock-playing, cat-loving blockchain dev should be a good fit for the GameStop NFTeam, who seem to have welcomed him with open arms, indicated by Finestone’s tweet.

Jordan also has his own YouTube channel with quirky, meme-worthy videos. Referring to himself as EvilJordan, he breaks societal norms for a business professional, posting a plethora of videos that range from him dancing shirtless to him playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and even his cats.

NFT Philosophy

Two months ago, Holberg allowed himself to be interviewed by Demetri Ravanos for Barrett Sports Media, where he told of his philosophies towards NFTs and their usages, primarily towards sports.

The article was titled, Is There Money In The NFT Fad For Sports Media Brands?, published on April 19, 2021.

Demetri states that in order to figure out the answer to the question, he asked his friend Jordan Holberg for help. Jordan and Demetri went school together from third grade until the end of high school. Demetri also claims that Jordan once made him laugh so hard he peed his pants.

When Demetri asked Jordan what NFTs offer a sports fan, the crypto-fanatic responded that the first thing that pops into his head is community. 

It’s dead-simple, at least in relative terms, to create a gated social community experience for NFT holders. It’s like a virtual ticket that isn’t forgeable, could be non-transferable, and has the potential to constantly make money for its issuer.

Jordan stated that he doesn’t have predictions on what will happen, but knows that NFTs have shown social media networks, company websites, and mobiles games are due for disruption.

Back to GameStop

In just one key hire, we can see, brick by brick, how Ryan Cohen’s road map to transformation is unfolding. Tallying up the over 70 key tech hires, the plan is in place. 

GameStop’s latest Principal Engineer believes that cryptocurrency and NFTs have opened up a whole new world of what it means to be a consumer of entertainment and culture, and, for the moment, the sky’s the limit.

We can see that Jordan’s accomplishments in e-commerce and blockchain are stacked, and he already looks to be fitting right in with the existing blockchain division. He also loves cats, is nostalgic for GameStop, and lives to meme. 

Despite being self-employed for almost a decade, Holberg is excited to return to full-time work. The decentralization geek believes that GameStop is a truly unique opportunity, with a company well-positioned to make a significant and positive impact. 

Let’s see what he makes of it.

Jenna, vestro, and Jack0 contributed. Toast edited and contributed.

Sources: Jordan Holberg on LinkedIn, Barrett Media, EvilJordan on YouTube, jordanholberg

GameStop Corp. today announced that it has completed its previously announced “at-the-market” equity offering program.

GameStop disclosed on June 9, 2021 that it filed a prospectus supplement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to offer and sell up to a maximum of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock from time to time through the ATM Offering.

GameStop ultimately sold 5,000,000 shares of common stock and generated aggregate gross proceeds before commissions and offering expenses of approximately $1,126,000,000.

GameStop states that the company will use net proceeds from the ATM Offering for general corporate purposes as well as for investing in growth initiatives and maintaining a strong balance sheet.

Source: GameStop Form 8-K, GameStop News Room

George Sherman, who was set to officially step down from his CEO role next month, has served as the Grapevine-based video game retailer’s chief executive since 2019.

GameStop Corp. today announced the appointment of Matt Furlong to the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. The appointment date aligns with Mr. Furlong’s start date as GameStop’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Coinciding with Mr. Furlong’s appointment, George Sherman has retired from the Board. Five of the six members of the Board remain independent.

Furlong was named GameStop’s incoming CEO earlier this month at Q1 2021 Earnings. Furlong, a former Amazon executive, was hired as part of new chairman Ryan Cohen’s plan to expand e-commerce initiatives.

Sherman’s resignation from the board is effective immediately.

Source: GameStop News Room

GameStop has gone dark.

GMEdd.com has made it clear – LinkedIn is the place to see what GameStop is up to. In the midst of one of the “biggest transformations in history,” GameStop has refreshed their corporate branding alongside their corporate governance.

While other innovative companies opt for inviting colors, GameStop has gone bold – a sleek Black and White.

The company appears to believe their name says it all.

The gaming retailer’s consumer-facing branding has not changed at all; the signature bright red is still present on GameStop’s Twitter and Facebook profiles.

GameStop’s LinkedIn prior to today, displaying the slogan under George Sherman

GameStop’s Corporate Twitter also displays the refreshed branding, with the same header and icon as LinkedIn.

These brash differences between GameStop Corp. and GameStop the retailer seem to imply that GameStop intends on being much more than a gaming store, with possible divisions existing under the corporate hold.

Some speculate that the corporate branding change may solely be in recognition of Juneteenth, a United States federal holiday made famous by President Trump that commemorates the end of slavery.

While this is possible, it seems more likely to not be the case because GameStop does not have a past of recognizing holidays this way. Elliot Wilke, GameStop’s Chief Growth Officer, has also shown off a sweet black on black GameStop Corp. hoodie in the past, foreshadowing this sleek rebrand.

Source: GameStop on LinkedIn, GameStop Corp. on Twitter

Larry Cheng believes that some businesses have the potential to break the traditional paradigm – they can play chess while everyone else plays checkers.

Larry Cheng, co-founder and managing partner of Volition Capital, was the first major investor to back Chewy after the company was turned down numerous times by other firms.

Larry’s investment through Volition was key to the growth and expansion of Chewy, and as a result, Larry and Ryan remain “fast friends.” While GameStop is a different story than Chewy,  Larry’s involvement in the turnaround has become clear through his nomination and proceeding placement on GameStop’s Board at the 2021 annual meeting.

You can read more about the past between Larry Cheng, Chewy, and Ryan Cohen here.

At one minute after market close on Friday, Larry Cheng shares some of his thoughts on Twitter about companies breaking traditional paradigms.

Every company is a company. However, on rare occasion, some companies become movements. The company ends up standing for something much larger and more significant than itself. These companies break the traditional paradigm – they can play chess when everyone else plays checkers.

While it is not clear if GameStop’s latest board member is talking here about his philosophy towards the future of the gaming retailer, we can at least appreciate that he understands the greater impact a business can have on the world.

Source: Larry Cheng on Twitter

GameStop’s hiring frenzy amid “one of the biggest online transformations in history,” continues, as LinkedIn unveils the latest VP of Merchandising from Amazon.

The “hiring frenzy” first coined by the now former VP, Marketing Evan Smith in a February 2021 post highlighted by GMEdd.com has reigned true, revealing GameStop’s success in acquiring new talent at a rate that can be compared to the likes of the hottest new startup.

One of GameStop’s favorites to poach from? Amazon.

Revealed on LinkedIn,  GameStop has now recruited  six-year Amazon veteran Rob Mayer to serve as GameStop’s Vice President of Merchandising, alongside the several other VPs of Merchandising with tech backgrounds.

At Amazon, Rob Mayer most recently served as Amazon’s Head of Vendor Management, Consumer Electronics. 

This supports the thesis that GameStop will likely continue to expand into a wider range of electronics, surpassing solely gaming hardware.

This isn’t where the story ends, though.

Upon the recruitment of Matt Francis as Chief Technology Officer in February 2021, GMEdd.com began keeping track of GameStop’s latest hires using data from LinkedIn. While our last story highlighting GameStop’s recruiting released in May, the company has since doubled their new talent.

View an updated and interactive version of this sheet at GMEdd.com Report & Models

GameStop has hired, from Amazon alone:

  • Matt Francis, Chief Technology Officer
  • Josh Krueger, Vice President of Fulfillment
  • Maggie McCanner, Sr. Director Product Management
  • Jenna Owens, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President
  • Neda Pacifico, Senior Vice President, Ecommerce
  • Elliott Wilke, Chief Growth Officer
  • Phil Landis, Director Ops Integration
  • Sean McHugh, Director of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Skyler Ramirez, Vice President, Instock
  • Joshua Flores, Inventory Specialist
  • Aaron Curtis, General Manager
  • Kristy Roach, Director IC/QA and Learning
  • John Crampton, Senior EHS Manager
  • Matt Furlong, Incoming Chief Executive Officer
  • Mike Rucepero, Incoming Chief Financial Officer

This indicates, from just what’s available to us publicly on LinkedIn, GameStop has poached double-digit Amazon employees, making an e-commerce centric pivot the clear trajectory.

Source: GameStop on LinkedIn

While GMEdd usually publishes fundamental research and corporate news, a reader offered to share their thoughts after attending GameStop’s 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting. We decided it would be valuable for all investors to hear about the experience.

GameStop, the video game retailer from our childhoods, had become an unlikely pivotal part of so many lives in 2021, including my own. 

For myself, what had started off as a ~$5,000 bet on call options was raised to a $30,000 investment following my review of the original Research Report published by GMEdd.com in January. This was the entirety of my savings at the time.

When I found out that the company invited stockholders to attend The Annual Meeting at the company’s corporate headquarters in Grapevine, Texas I couldn’t miss it.

I booked flights for my significant other and I, as we are both GameStop investors, and began preparing for the meeting. We booked a few extra nights to enjoy the food, art, music, and history while in town.

On Tuesday morning we departed Southern California and couldn’t have been more excited. As we were preparing to board our flight we crossed a symbolic moment in our financial freedom. For the first time, the value of my portfolio surpassed $1,000,000.

Watching that figure appear on my screen immediately brought me to tears as the seemingly impossible was right there in my hands; a moment I’ll never forget.

The day of the Meeting

We arrived at GameStop HQ via Uber where a GameStop employee in a safety vest was on duty and kindly escorted us to the entrance of the meeting. The walk was several minutes long and we had the opportunity to discuss my experience as a shareholder and how much this meeting meant to so many. Our escort was very friendly and expressed his enthusiastic support for us as shareholders before going on to recommend some of his favorite local barbecue joints and entertainment.

One thing was clear, GameStop made it a point to share with their employees what this meeting was truly about given the current circumstances — expressing their gratitude and support for shareholders.

We checked in and entered the meeting chamber with half an hour till 10. Despite being early, the room was already packed, although we did manage to score a pair of seats in the second row; I counted approximately 120 attendees.

It wasn’t until later that I found out GameStop had established an overflow room to accommodate even more attendees. Based on a conversation with one of those shareholders later that afternoon, GameStop staff was continuously bringing out more and more chairs to accommodate the shareholders in overflow as they arrived.

  A warehouse room was being repurposed for overflow attendees, where a monitor was set up to view the main room.

Before the meeting began, GameStop passed out gift bags: GameStop branded drawstring backpacks containing mixed contents including a GameStop tee shirt, bottle, pen, etc.

When Sherman took the floor, he announced that they prepared 200 of these gift bags and made a joke about them running out a lot sooner than they thought they would.

Sherman’s attitude was very personable and he made several comments that kept the attendees laughing prior to beginning the meeting. Unlike the presentations stockholders are used to during ER conferences, it was unscripted, kind, relatable and filled with gratitude.

Prior to the start of the meeting, we were presented with short live clips of both Larry Cheng and Ryan Cohen on the large screen sitting ahead of us. As the incoming Chairman virtually checked in with us via zoom, absent of any comments, the crowd of shareholders clapped with enthusiasm; the energy in the room was surreal.

The meeting began with an announcement from Dan Reed, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary,

There are present at this meeting, in person or by proxy, more than the majority of all shares that are entitled to cast votes.

Shareholders may have overlooked the true meaning of this statement and got carried away upon hearing this. The room was flowing with excitement as the crowd began standing up to clap at the news; Dan smiled with content to see the investor enthusiasm.

Shortly thereafter, GameStop announced the preliminary results of various votes including Election of Directors, Advisory Non-binding Vote on Executive Compensation, and Ratification of the Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.

Then, we were presented with what in my opinion was the biggest part of the meeting, a few heartfelt statements from Ryan Cohen, GameStop’s new chairman.

The following are a few statements that were made:

We’re trying to do something that nobody in the retail space has ever done.

We continue to be blown away by your passion and support. You guys inspire us to think bigger and fight harder. 

You won’t find us talking a big game, making a bunch of lofty promises, or telegraphing our strategy to our competition… moving forward we want you to judge GameStop based on our actions and not our words.

As my dad would say, “buckle up.”

You can read Ryan Cohen’s full speech here on GMEdd’s June 9th AGM post.

Hearing Cohen make these statements was heartfelt. They felt genuine, and as if he was filled with just as much joy as the rest of the shareholders that attended.

While many of us are constantly seeking catalysts to extend our already well-justified confirmation bias, I believe these statements are just as good as any and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the presentation GameStop Corp. and Cohen put on for shareholders.

At any rate, the message was clear: GameStop is doing something that’s never been done before, buckle up and trust the process.

After the meeting

After the meeting I rushed to the door to pass out red headbands that I adorned with the $GME ticker, diamond hand emojis, and a stenciled decal of  The Roaring Kitty’s famous cat, a roaring kitty.

The headbands were accompanied by a letter I wrote to express my gratitude to the $GME investor base and share my vision of paying it forward and making a true impact within our communities. I brought a little over 200 headbands and ran out before being able to provide them to all attendees.

Post-Meeting Meetup

A large amount of shareholders reconvened at Boomerjack’s Grill & Bar, a local spot where we celebrated the successful meeting with drinks, food and comradery.

The diversity in shareholders — be it location, occupation, or age — was outstanding. One shareholder drove over 30 hours, from Rhode Island to Texas, to attend. The only thing we all had in common was love for the GameStop investor community and enthusiasm towards the future of the company.

We drank and laughed, celebrated and cried. So many shareholders expressed sincere gratitude for the words I shared. One shareholder even offered my significant other and I a place to stay, stating that his home was our home. The love received from this community was out of this world, true, sincere appreciation and gratitude. It was a day we’ll never forget.

Closing words

As an investor and an individual looking to break the financial chains that have bound my family for generations, I couldn’t have asked for more from the company and the thriving investor base. It is a blessing to have been afforded the opportunity to take part in this monumental day in company history and to meet so many stockholders that share the same passion, love, and support for the movement that is GME and the transformation of the retail giant.

During our flight, we saw a mountain peak extending through a thick layer of clouds, and the following thought came and stuck with me:

As the peaks of powerful mountains pierce through the clouds and into the great vastness of clear blue skies, so too shall our diligence pierce through and beyond the false, fragile and manufactured veil of greed leading us into the vastness and clarity of the great unknown.

sandwich guest wrote this article exclusively for GMEdd, Toast edited

Photo sources: AndBolos on Twitter, YouTube a4SicgRYTmk, MrRager1989, sandwich

Announced in addition to Quarter 1 earnings, GameStop Corp. intends to file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a prospectus supplement to the base prospectus included in the Company’s shelf registration statement on Form S-3 under which the Company may offer and sell up to 5 million shares of its common stock, from time to time, in “at-the-market” offerings.

The Company intends to use net proceeds for general corporate purposes as well as for investing in growth initiatives and maintaining a strong balance sheet. The timing and amount of any sales of shares, if any, will depend on a variety of factors, including prevailing market conditions, the trading price of shares and other factors as determined by GameStop Corp.

In the prospectus supplement, GameStop states that on June 8, 2021, the last reported sale price of common stock on the NYSE was $300.00 per share.

Our common stock has recently experienced extreme volatility in price and trading volume. From January 11, 2021 to June 8, 2021, the closing price of our common stock on the NYSE ranged from as low as $19.94 to as high as $347.51 and daily trading volume ranged from approximately 1,790,000 to 197,200,000 shares. 

Jefferies will be entitled to compensation at a commission rate of up to 1.5% of the gross sales price per share of common stock sold through it as sales agent pursuant to the Sales Agreement. 

Source: GameStop News Room, GameStop Investor Relations

Net Sales Grew 25% to $1.3 Billion

Appoints Technology Veterans Matt Furlong and Mike Recupero to CEO and CFO Positions, Respectively

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), today reported results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2021.

First Quarter Fiscal 2021 Highlights

  • Net sales increased 25.1% to $1.277 billion, compared to $1.021 billion in the fiscal 2020 first quarter, overcoming a nearly 12% reduction in the Company’s global store base due to strategic de-densification efforts, and continued store closures across Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Gross margin was 25.9%, a decline of 180 basis points compared to the fiscal 2020 first quarter;
  • Reported selling, general and administrative expenses were $370.3 million, a decline of $16.2 million, or 4.2%, from $386.5 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. Adjusted for severance, transformation and other costs, selling, general and administrative expenses were $351.7 million, a decline of $29.5 million, or 7.7%, from $381.2 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter;
  • Operating loss of ($40.8) million compared to ($108.0) million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. Adjusted operating loss of ($21.6) million compared to ($98.8) million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter;
  • Net loss of ($66.8) million, or ($1.01) per diluted share as compared to net loss of ($165.7) million, or ($2.57) per diluted share, in the fiscal 2020 first quarter. Adjusted net loss of ($29.4) million or ($0.45) per diluted share, compared to adjusted net loss of ($157.6) million or ($2.44) per diluted share in the fiscal 2020 first quarter;
  • Adjusted EBITDA of ($0.7) million compared to ($75.5) million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter, and;
  • Income tax expense was $1.3 million compared to income tax expense of $50.4 million in the fiscal 2020 first quarter.  

Capital Structure and Liquidity Update

As of May 1, 2021, the Company had $770.8 million in cash and restricted cash, compared to $583.9 million in cash and restricted cash in the prior year. The Company had no borrowings under its asset-based revolving credit facility and no long-term debt.

On April 26, 2021, the Company announced it raised approximately $551.7 million in net proceeds through the issuance of 3.5 million shares of common stock under its “at-the-market” equity offering program, resulting in total shares outstanding of approximately 71.9 million. The Company has used and intends to continue using net proceeds to accelerate GameStop’s transformation as well as for general corporate purposes and further strengthening the balance sheet.

On April 30, 2021, the Company completed its voluntary early redemption of $216.4 million in principal amount of its 10.0% Senior Notes due 2023 on April 30, 2021. This voluntary early redemption covered the entire amount of the outstanding 10.0% Senior Notes, which represented all of the Company’s long-term debt.

Earnings Conference

GameStop has unveiled on their investor relations page that they will be livestreaming the Q1 2021 Earnings conference call webcast on YouTube.

This is highly unlike most other public companies, and may be a sign of GameStop paving the way to become more forward facing and shareholder-friendly with Ryan Cohen now serving as Chairman of the Board.

Source: GameStop News Room

Matt Furlong, Veteran E-Commerce Leader and Technology Industry Executive, Appointed CEO

Mike Recupero, Seasoned Technology Industry Finance Executive, Appointed CFO

GameStop Corp. today announced that it has appointed Matt Furlong as Chief Executive Officer and Mike Recupero as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Furlong and Mr. Recupero join from Amazon, where they each held senior roles and oversaw various growth initiatives during their respective tenures. 

Matt Furlong, Incoming Ceo

Mr. Furlong is a veteran e-commerce leader with significant experience implementing growth strategies across global geographies and product categories. Most recently, he was a Country Leader and oversaw Amazon’s Australia business during a period of substantial growth. He was previously a Technical Advisor to the head of Amazon’s North America Consumer business. Throughout his nearly nine years at Amazon, he also ran a variety of product categories and oversaw strong market share expansion. Mr. Furlong began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he was an executive focused on brand, marketing and sales strategies.

Mike Recupero, Incoming CFO

Mr. Recupero is a seasoned technology industry finance executive, who spent more than 17 years at Amazon supporting growth across global geographies and product categories. He most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of the North American Consumer business after serving as Chief Financial Officer of Prime Video. He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of the European Consumer business. He began his career at Amazon, holding Analyst, Manager and Director roles of increasing responsibility.   

Start Dates

These appointments reflect the refreshed Board’s focus on building a technology company and investing in growth. Mr. Furlong’s start date is June 21, 2021 and Mr. Recupero’s start date is July 12, 2021.

Source: GameStop Newsroom