The chief executive of GameStop, the ailing video games retailer caught up in a bizarre trading battle between mighty Wall Street hedge funds and self-organised Reddit users, has reportedly seen his personal worth climb to almost $1bn as a result of this week’s short squeeze frenzy.
George Sherman has largely remained silent on his company’s soaring stock price but its uptick in fortunes means his own 3.4 per cent stake of amounting to 2.36 million shares is now worth an estimated $800m (£583m), according to CNN.
His shares were worth $7m (£5.1m) a year ago but their value had climbed to approximately 127 times that as of Friday as stocks in the company hit $379 (£276) in pre-market trading.
Mr Sherman only joined the company in 2019 having previously worked as an executive for other retail outfits like Advanced Auto Parts, Best Buy, Home Depot and Target.
Another GameStop board member, Ryan Cohen, operates a fund with an almost 13 per cent stake in the company, which is currently worth $3bn (£2.2bn), while retired billionaire Donald Foss, founder of subprime auto lender Credit Acceptance Corp, now finds his 5 per cent holding valued at $1.2bn (£880m.)
Money managers Fidelity, BlackRock, Vanguard and Susquehanna are likewise major shareholders.
The chaos began on Wednesday when a volunteer army of investors on social media challenged the big institutions that had placed market bets on GameStop’s stock falling, coming together to punish short-stellers for seeking to profit from the financial woes of a beloved brand.
The company’s stock price duly rocketed from a low of $2.57 (£1.87) on 31 December 2020 to close at around $350 (£255) on Wednesday thanks to the intervention of followers of the WallStreetBets Reddit forum.
On Thursday, it swung between $112 (£82) and $483 (£352) before closing down 43.2 per cent at $197.44 (£143) and shooting back up 60 per cent in after-market trading.
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