GameStop CEO Mike Mauler leaves abruptly

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After less than four months in the position
  • Daniel DeMatteo taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Grapevine, Texas, May 11, 2018 — Mike Mauler, chief executive of GameStop, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by GameStop Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Friday, May 11, 2018, Michael K. (Mike) Mauler has left his post as chief executive officer at the electronics retail company after less than four months in the position, effective May 9, 2018.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first months.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 2 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within their first year. Around 9 percent left the position within two years, and 20 percent left the position within three years.

GameStop will undertake a search for a successor.

Mauler’s duties were taken over in the interim by Daniel A. DeMatteo, currently Executive Chairman of GameStop Corp.

“For personal reasons”

Mauler’s sudden departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. GameStop said: “GameStop Corp. … today announced that the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Daniel A. DeMatteo as interim chief executive officer following the resignation of Michael K. Mauler for personal reasons, effective immediately.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing Mauler to leave the position, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about Mauler’s future plans was not immediately available.

Alarm signal

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CEO leaves the position abruptly and without a reasonable explanation.

“Resignation”

GameStop said: “The appointment follows the resignation for personal reasons of Michael K. Mauler as the Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Company on May 9, 2018.”

“Not due to any disagreement”

“Mr. Mauler’s resignation is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto,” GameStop said.

It is a phrase that may be intended to prevent false rumors. It may also fuel further speculation and raise more questions than it answers. Such a phrase should be read very carefully. The exact wording may be insightful.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of GameStop Corp. since November 2015.

In the position of CEO since 2018

Michael K. Mauler has been Chief Executive Officer of GameStop Corporation since February 4, 2018.

Mike Mauler is the chief executive officer of GameStop and has been with the company for more than 16 years.

He previously served as executive vice president and president of International, which consists of nearly 2,000 retail stores operating under the GameStop, EB Games, Micromania and Zing Pop Culture brands.

Mauler led the International division’s business and diversification initiatives since being appointed to the role in January of 2010, including launching the company’s global Collectibles business in 2014.

Prior to heading the International business, Mauler served as the company’s senior vice president of Supply Chain and International Support, and before the merger between GameStop and EB Games, served as vice president of Logistics for Electronics Boutique.

At the time of Mauler’s appointment as chief executive officer at GameStop, DeMatteo had said: “On behalf of GameStop’s Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce Mike Mauler as our new CEO. Mike has been part of the GameStop senior leadership team for many years, where he has played an integral role in creating and driving the blueprint of our diversification strategy, successfully managing our international operations, and growing our core business segments. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished leader, who has a thorough understanding of our operations, business strategy and our stakeholders, and is committed to strengthening our results and driving our Company forward.”

At the time of his appointment as chief executive officer at GameStop, Mauler had said: “I am honored by the support and confidence that Dan and the Board of Directors have placed in me. Starting with its founders more than 30 years ago, GameStop has a tremendous legacy of continually transforming its business to meet the needs of its global customer base. I look forward to building upon that legacy and working closely with our senior leadership team and our more than 40,000 associates around the world, to drive sustainable profitability and shareholder returns across our businesses.”

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mike Mauler’s sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 20.2018 ($).