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GameStop CEO takes 50% pay cut as some stores begin to reopen

GameStop is beginning to reopen stores in several countries, including the United States, and is making some salary cuts to help weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The gaming retailer is reopening stores in Italy, Germany, and Austria, as well as South Carolina and Georgia in the U.S., and will do the same in other countries and states where legally allowed. One-third of its U.S. locations will remain closed while the remainder will continue curbside pickup.

GameStop didn’t detail how newly reopened stores will operate beyond working within state ordinances, but it did note changes in inventory. GameStop will focus on having  top-selling hardware, software, and accessories in stock to match demand, which will make it difficult to find niche products in stores.

GameStop recently reported a 23% year-over-year decline for in-store sales due to coronavirus-related closures. As a result, CEO George Sherman will take a temporary 50% pay cut during the pandemic, and salaries for the rest of the executive leadership team will be slashed by 30%. Members of the board of directors, including former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé, will see compensation decrease by 50%.

Also hit by pay cuts are unspecified “other employees” and members of its corporate support team. Beginning April 26, employees will receive temporarily reduced pay between 10% and 30%, while certain members of corporate staff have the option to take a temporary furlough or agree to a reduced workweek or pay program. Digital Trends reached out to GameStop for clarification on these cuts and will update this story when we hear back.

“We continue to proactively manage our business, with a goal to increase financial flexibility and preserve cash flow in the current environment,” Sherman said of the decision to implement pay cuts.

Recent financial struggles have seen the company shutter hundreds of stores as it adapts to players opting for digital copies of games. Despite the company searching for a buyer throughout 2018, Sherman isn’t worrying about GameStop going bankrupt during the pandemic. He believes the retailer has enough cash on hand to remain stable in spite of announcing across-the-board pay cuts.

Sherman, however, noted that GameStop did not make rent payments on several stores as the government and landlords forced locations to close. The company is looking to restructure deals to lessen what it owes.

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