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GameStop is laying off staff and has fired its CFO

It’s betting some of its future on the blockchain

Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

GameStop has been on a wild ride ever since it reached meme stock status, and the company has recently been dabbling in Web3 technologies like NFTs and crypto. More recently, it’s also been laying off employees without much explanation. On Thursday, GameStop internally announced an unspecified number of layoffs — reportedly including some from the popular publication Game Informer and publicly revealed that it has fired its CFO with a terse press release.

GameStop CEO Matt Furlong announced the round of layoffs to staff in a memo obtained by CNBC and Kotaku. It’s completely unclear how many people are affected or in which divisions, though Furlong writes in the memo that “we’re making a number of reductions to help us keep things simple and operate nimbly with the right talent in place.” The layoffs “appear” to be focused at the company’s Grapevine, Texas HQ, according to Kotaku.

Despite the fact that crypto isn’t doing so hot right now, it seems as if GameStop is banking some of its future on its blockchain group — it’s mentioned in the very first line of Furlong’s memo:

Change will be a constant as we evolve our commerce business and launch new products through our blockchain group. After investing heavily in personnel, technology, inventory and supply chain infrastructure over the past 18 months, our focus is on achieving sustained profitability. This means eliminating excess costs and operating with an intense owner’s mentality.

GameStop also says its’ making “a significant investment” in its store employees, indicating that it still believes its retail stores are important, too. “These individuals are, in many respects, the heart of GameStop,” Furlong wrote. “We’ll be sharing details regarding this investment in the coming weeks.”

The company publicly announced the “termination of the employment” of CFO Michael Recupero. He will be replaced by Diana Saadeh-Jajeh, who was the company’s chief accounting officer.

According to Axios, the layoffs have also affected Game Informer, which is owned by the video game retailer, though it’s unclear how many people were impacted. Some tweets from staffers aren’t positive.