GameStop has named George Sherman as its new chief executive officer. Sherman previously served as the CEO of Verizion Wireless retailer Victra. Now, he’s taking over the largest game-specific brick-and-mortar store chain.
Prior to Victra, Sherman worked as an executive at Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy Services, Home Depot, and Target. So he has a lengthy history of overseeing retail stores. GameStop wants him to navigate the uncertain digital future.
And Sherman acknowledges that he is coming on specifically because GameStop needs to change.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead GameStop, one of the leading and most recognized brands in the video game industry,” Sherman said in a statement. “I bring significant experience working with other retailers that have undergone large, successful transformations and look forward to leveraging GameStop’s industry position, history, and brand.”
Sherman is stepping into the shoes of GameStop chief executive Paul Raines who stepped down in 2018 for health-related reasons. He died shortly after.
Raines was attempting to shift GameStop’s focus away from just selling games. And now Sherman is clearly joining to fulfill that goal.
“We are very excited to welcome George to the GameStop team,” Gamestop executive chairman Dan DeMatteo said. “Having recently conducted a thorough review of strategic and financial alternatives, we are at a critical juncture in GameStop’s evolution and, with George’s hiring and his proven experience, we are ready to move forward.”
Sources familiar with the company (that wish to remain anonymous) say that hiring Sherman is just the beginning. The company plans to soon kick off the “GameStop 2.0” initiative.
Moving forward, GameStop wants to shift from a retailer to a cultural experience. That involves new kinds of stores and more membership programs. Expect a variation on PowerUp Rewards that provides better trade-in and preowned-game prices.
GameStop recognizes that it still has a huge advantage by focusing on games, and it wants to leverage that. It plans to use more TVs to give people a place to hang out and try games before buying. These TVs will replace many of GameStop’s poster advertisements.
DeMatteo hinted at these plans in his statement.
“We look forward to supporting George as we accelerate the next steps in [our] plan, which include several exciting initiatives that have been in development and have the potential to improve the financial performance and profitability of our company,” he said. “As George and our talented team finalize the blueprint for GameStop, we will continue to leverage our leadership position in the video game industry to discover new ways to support our loyal customers, while attracting new customers and serving their entertainment needs.”
And Sherman sounds ready to execute.
“The team has already done extensive strategic work to identify and pursue new customer-centric opportunities that will further expand the culture of gaming in new and exciting ways,” said Sherman. “I look forward to leading our associates and believe that we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to continue to fuel the passion of gamers around the world.”