GameStop Hired An AWS Engineering Leader In Its Pivot To Online

Published on February 5, 2021

On Wednesday, GameStop (NYSE: GME) announced that it hired a former AWS engineering leader to assist with its goal of becoming an e-commerce giant.

The company brought on Matt Francis, a previous engineering leader over at Amazon Web Services; he also held senior technology roles at companies such as QVC and Zulily. 

Francis comes on as the gaming retailer’s newly created role of Chief Technology Officer. Beginning on February 15, Francis will be responsible for overseeing e-commerce and technology functions.

In addition to Francis, GameStop made two more executive hires for its team.

Starting on March 1, Kelli Durkin will become GameStop’s Senior Vice President of Customer Care. Durkin formerly served as Vice President of Customer Service at Chewy. 

“She helped establish the world-class customer service operation that positioned Chewy to achieve a Net Promoter Score of 86 in 2018,” said GameStop in a press release. “In her new role, Ms. Durkin will oversee all customer service and engagement initiatives at GameStop.”

Furthermore, Josh Krueger will join as Vice President of Fulfillment. Krueger’s background includes holding senior fulfillment roles at Walmart, Amazon and QVC. Also starting on March 1, Krueger will oversee management of GameStop’s e-commerce fulfillment centers.

Helping the Move to E-Commerce

GameStop’s new executive hires come shortly after Ryan Cohen, founder and former CEO at Chewy, joined its Board of Directors.

Cohen is the mind behind the company’s new shift to focusing on e-commerce. GameStop is widely known for its brick-and-mortar stores; customers would go in to buy, sell and trade both new and pre-owned video games and consoles. However, prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company saw its sales drop with less people coming in. 

Additionally, video game consumers have turned to downloading games directly onto their consoles— rather than purchasing physical copies—and utilizing subscription services like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch Online and Sony’s PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, all of which give gamers access to hundreds of games for a low, monthly price.

In a letter that Cohen wrote to the company’s board last year, he highlighted how the retailer must shift its focus from its brick-and-mortar stores to a more “technology-driven vision.”

“Taking the right steps in 2020 and 2021 can enable GameStop to own a bigger share of the market when estimated industry sales explode to more than $200 billion per year in 2023,” Cohen wrote. “Significantly upgrading e-commerce can provide for greater revenue capture across larger gaming catalogs, digital content and community experiences, online trade-ins, streaming services and Esports.”

Cohen’s letter also helped kick off the company’s decision to focus on squeezing short sellers. This move soon became the basis of the recent growth that GameStop’s value saw over the last few weeks. With Redditors bidding up the price, the company saw increases of over $325 per share last week; the numbers have since faded back to around $100 per share.

Lexi Jones is an award-winning journalist and Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Las Vegas, she covers startup brands in entertainment, internet and LGBTQ+ startup news. She is also an editor of Grit Daily's "Top 100" entrepreneur lists.

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