GAME CEO resigns after 28% profit drop

Lisa Morgan steps down after four years in the role; ex-Ladbrokes boss appointed interim chief

GAME has announced that CEO Lisa Morgan has resigned from her position at the UK retailer, shortly after announcing that its profits had fallen by 28 per cent in the past year.

Morgan, who joined the company in 1996, before taking on the role of CEO in 2006, will be replaced on a temporary basis by former Ladbrokes CEO, and GAME non-executive director, Chris Bell - with the firm now searching for a full time replacement.

The company's COO, Terry Scicluna, has also resigned, although he will remain with the business through the handover period.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Lisa for her exceptional contribution over the last 14 years," said chairman Peter Lewis in a statement. "She joined GAME when we had less than 200 stores, was appointed to the Board in January 2000, and became CEO in 2006. Her focus on, and knowledge of, our customers and industry has helped to establish our strong market leading position in Europe.

"We have commenced the search for a new CEO. In the meantime I am delighted that Chris has agreed to take on this role on an interim basis as the company moves into the next phase of its development."

Total company profits for the year to the end of March 2010 stood at 84.2 million, down from 117.4 million, a fall which the company blamed on a general slowdown in videogame sales.

Headline revenues were down by 10 per cent to 1.8 billion with EPS falling by 28 per cent to 17.45p.

However, the company noted that it actually delivered its "second best trading performance in its history" and cited an overall industry decline of 20 per cent.

"We outperformed the market and our performance can be attributed to our position as the market leading specialist, our strength in pre-owned, our multi-channel customer offer and disciplined operational management," read a statement.

"Complementing our traditional store offer, we are today announcing the launch of a number of initiatives to strengthen our position in the growing e-commerce and digital markets.

"Whilst we remain mindful of the challenging market in which we operate, the forthcoming new technology further enhances the profile of the specialist retailer. This, together with our value driven offer to maintain a market leading position, investment in new channels to market, and our focus on cost reductions leads the Board to be confident in the Group's future prospects."

But the markets reacted badly to the double dose of bad news, and GAME Group shares fell by over 12 per cent 88.7p as trading began on Wednesday.

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Latest comments (4)

Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation9 years ago
Lisa Morgan will be greatly missed. A great person.
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Tony Johns9 years ago
I always thought that GAME was always a bit better than EB Games, but I still shop at both stores so I can know what ones are good with their business...

GAME has their used games organized in a bit more better fashion in my area of the world, while EB Games has been so popular that they sometimes don't know how to deal with all the used games that come in, sometimes putting all the used games on a tray in the middle of the shop and letting people shift though tones and tones of stuff thinking they would somehow find a real gem in there...

GAME where I live, has none of that going on, and perhaps it is because of the way they organise the shop themselves...

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Stephen Wilson graphic/web designer 9 years ago
I must say that I feel GAME's support for the PC platform over the last year has been dreadful and may account for a substantial part of the 28% loss. Previously the PC titles in my local store had two wall bays and two floor standing units dedicated to the platform. I visited the store this week and the PC titles now only occupy one side of one floor standing unit and there were no PC budget titles stock at all. In their place a whole rack full of pre-owned PS2 titles at 99p each, how can that be good business?

When I questioned an assistant about the lack of PC software and budget titles she stated that "Most publishers of PC games are no longer releasing boxed software and that the company (GAME) was now only bringing in top selling PC titles such as the Total War & Grand Theft Auto series."

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Stephen Wilson on 21st April 2010 6:06pm

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Tony Johns9 years ago
I can see where you are coming from there with the limited self space of PC games, the same thing happens in Australia where I am, and it is not only GAME but also EB Games that do that too.

Because of PC games being easily downloaded and online access, and some PC game developers no longer making boxed games so they can save money and also the number of PC gamers compared to console and handheld gamers, it is easy to see why the major game stores often focus less on the PC market.

I could say from my own experience the same thing happened to the Nintendo Gamecube games, like back between 2002 to 2006, I only had a Gamecube for that console generation and in my local game store and shops that sold computer games there were rows and rows of XBox and PS2 games, but hardly any self space at all for Gamecube except for this small self space only reserved for the few like me who did own one, but the games I had to let the store clerk know about in order to order a copy because most of the games there were the early Gamecube ones and they never got anything else except for the Nintendo published ones as well as games from EA and Activision.

It was a miracle that I got even close to 20 games on the Gamecube considering that most stores never sold gamecube games during 2003 when all stores were trying to push the console out of their stores to clear the way for more XBox and PS2 games.

So there....even if you only have one shelf for PC games, it is still better than having none at all and even though the smaller PC game developer may not longer sell boxed games, you can still go online and try to order them because you don't have any region lock issues like game consoles have as well as you can even buy any game from USA or even Japan like I do when I buy my own games for my laptop though online ordering.
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