Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé is joining GameStop’s board of directors. Fils-Aimé joins retail executive Bill Simon and PetSmart president and chief officer J.K. Symancyk as the board’s newest members.
“The board refreshment and governance enhancements announced today represent an important milestone in GameStop’s transformation as we continue to evolve the company’s business strategy for long-term success,” said GameStop CEO George Sherman in a statement. “They are each highly qualified and bring significant, relevant experience to our turnaround.”
Gamestop director Kathy Vrabeck notes that “the company has made important progress executing on our objective of becoming a leading omni-channel retailer with top market share in the gaming category.” To that end, she said she appreciates these new members’ “thoughtful leadership, guidance, and service.”
For his part, Fils-Aimé had the following to say via his Twitter account:
In case you don’t know, let us tell you a bit about Fils-Aimé. The executive joined Nintendo in 2003 as a Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 2004, he gave a memorable E3 speech that some felt marked something of a turnaround for the company. As President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, he presided over the incredibly successful releases of the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. Reggie shocked many people in 2019 when he decided to retire from that position.
What, exactly, Fils-Aimé will do on a daily basis has not been specified as of yet. The boards of various companies perform a variety of functions based on the company and whatever may be occurring at the time. For what it’s worth, early indications suggest that Fils-Aimé and the other new board members will help advise the rest of the GameStop executive team moving forward.
As many people have rightfully already guessed, this move is likely part of GameStop’s strategy to help turn things around. GameStop is still a leading name in retail, but times are changing. The rise of cloud gaming, digital distribution, and subscription services have cut into GameStop’s numbers. That decline has resulted in layoffs and controversial policies in recent years.
The extent of Fils-Aimé’s involvement in that process may be unknown, but it’s hard to argue against this hire. Fils-Aimé not only helped Nintendo turn things around once upon a time, but he was an energetic public-facing part of the company. GameStop could use someone like that right about now.
Will this be enough to save GameStop? It’s unlikely that any single move will dictate the company’s fate, but this is a great start. We look forward to seeing what Fils-Aimé brings to the table as GameStop envisions a new kind of store for the future of their company.