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GameStop: Aligning the Organization

Mike Mauler
Former CEO at Gamestop

Learning outcomes

  • The importance of aligning the store managers to roll out a coherent group strategy
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Executive Bio

Mike Mauler

Former CEO at Gamestop

Mike is the Former CEO of GameStop, the gaming retailer with over 5,500 stores globally and $8bn of revenue. In 2005, he joined GameStop as the Global Distribution and Logistics President before leading Gamestop International, where he was responsible for over 2,000 stores and 12,000 employees, from 2010-18. Prior to GameStop, he enjoyed 20 years building and running retail and supply chain operations for companies such as Fisher Scientific, Mattress Discounters, and Electronics Boutique. Mike now advises various startups and lectures at universities throughout the US. Read more

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Interview Transcript

How do you prevent that inertia or unwillingness to change in an organization. It seems so prevalent in companies where people just don’t want to change or a new products comes in, the store manager doesn’t adopt it, or people don’t really relate to it. How do you change that mindset for employees and the organization?

I think that’s a good question. I think when we first started talking about accessories at Game Stop and there are two competing headset manufacturers. One is called: Astro and one is called Turtle Beach. You go to a store and ask them, what’s your best-selling headset? Turtle Beach - they don’t have any returns, they’re amazing. You look at their numbers and Turtle Beach was like 80 percent of our headset sales. Then you go to another store and: Astro was amazing. Never have any defects, everybody loves Astro. Their Astro sales would be 80 percent. It’s really the store managers that have to be convinced because you can’t order them, I want you to sell Astro. You really have to convince them that this is the path we’re going down, and this is why it’s good for you. It just takes time. Being autocratic in something like that just doesn’t work right.

You incentivize the store manager on the performance of their store specifically?

Yes. Once in a while, we’ll incentivize a store manager on a specific initiative. You get a spiff on X or spiff on Y. Yes, absolutely, I think that’s important.

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