Less than a year after his formal exit from Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé has made his way over to GameStop. Today, GameStop told investors that Fils-Aimé and two other experienced executives are joining the retailer's board of directors. Their appointment to the board comes at a critical juncture for the company, as GameStop has suffered considerable losses, laid off staff, and shut down dozens of "underperforming" locations over the last year.
At VentureBeat, Jeff Grubb reports that Fils-Aimé's fellow appointees to the board are Bill Simon, holder of "various executive roles" in retail, and PetSmart's chief executive and president J.K. Symancyk. "We are pleased to welcome Reggie, Bill, and J.K. to the board," says GameStop CEO George Sherman. "They are each highly qualified and bring significant, relevant experience to our turnaround." Four current members—Dan DeMatteo, Gerald Szczepanski, Larry Zilavy, and Steve Koonin—are also leaving their positions on the board.
GameStop is certainly in need of whatever help Fils-Aimé and others can provide. In early 2019, GameStop's board announced that it was stopping its search for a buyer for the company. GameStop stock promptly tumbled.
In August, GameStop laid off 120 of its corporate employees, including several staffers at Game Informer. Less than a month later, GameStop announced it would close up to 200 of its stores before the end of the 2019 fiscal year.
Polygon recently published a report where current and former GameStop store employees allege that customer traffic has gone down significantly while also describing a "frantic and distrustful" company culture where sales target quotas are paramount. GameStop did not return a request for comment to Polygon. When asked about the article by GamesIndustry.biz's Rebekah Valentine in the course of reporting a story on GameStop's 12 new social concept stores, GameStop head of innovation Zach Shor said, "Stores still have numbers they have to hit and KPIs that are really important."
Since announcing his exit from Nintendo last February and officially taking his leave in April, Fils-Aimé has kept busy. He was appointed as a "Leader in Residence" at his alma mater, Cornell's School of Economics and Management. He's also a managing partner at an investment firm, sits on the board of directors for the New York Videogame Critics Circle, and was slated to give a keynote speech at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. (It has since been canceled by the city because of the coronavirus outbreak).
Fils-Aimé was succeeded by Doug Bowser as Nintendo of America's president and chief operating officer. Before joining Nintendo in 2004, Reggie worked in executive roles at various companies, including Pizza Hut, Guinness, Procter & Gamble, and Panda Express.