What do pet supplies and gaming have in common? Ryan Cohen.
Cohen, 38, is the founder of Chewy.com, an online pet supplies retailer valued at $16 billion.
However, he transitioned from e-comm entrepreneur to a stock market wiz when he purchased a 13% stake in GameStop in 2020 – making him the company’s single largest investor and earning him a reputation as the “king” of meme stocks, after the 2021 craze that led to a 2,500% increase in shares (and as seen in the 2023 film Dumb Money).
Now, he’s the CEO, president, and chairman of Gamestop.
Here’s what to know about billionaire Ryan Cohen.
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) May 27, 2022
Who Is Ryan Cohen?
Ryan Cohen was raised in Montreal, Canada. His mother was a teacher and his father, Ted Cohen, was an entrepreneur. Cohen said his father is his greatest inspiration and supported his decision not to go to college and pursue entrepreneurship instead, he wrote for Entrepreneur in 2020.
He started as a businessman at age 15 by collecting fees from e-commerce site referrals, per Forbes.
Cohen went on to co-found Chewy.com in 2011, which he said was inspired by his dog Tylee, who passed away in July, he shared on X.
Cohen grew the Chewy brand by “combining the experience of the neighborhood pet store with the convenience of shopping online was a key differentiator,” Cohen wrote in his piece for Entrepreneur. Chewy also focused on providing fast shipping and competitive pricing.
The company prioritized a “hyper-specialized experience” with Cohen’s belief that building relationships with his customers was “far more valuable than optimizing for short-term profits.”
RELATED: ‘That Act of Kindness Meant So Much’: Chewy’s Customer Service Is Melting Hearts
With a good product and the help of several investors, Chewy sales grew from $205 million in 2014 to $423 million in 2015, Cohen wrote in Harvard Business Review.
The company eventually reached $3.5 billion in annual revenues before PetSmart bought the company in 2017 for $3.4 billion, per Forbes.
Cohen left Chewy in 2018.
In August 2020, Cohen bought a 10% stake (which he later bumped to 13%) in GameStop for $76 million in hopes of helping to revive the company, per Forbes.
His fortune spiked in 2021 following the GameStop “meme stock” saga — when amateur traders on Reddit noticed that Wall Street was short-selling the stock, so they bought shares to drive the price of the stock up and “squeeze the short positions of hedge funds,” according to The Trade.
Cohen first joined Gamestop as executive chairman in June 2023 before taking over as CEO in September.
Per a company press release, he won’t be receiving compensation.
He Has an Active Presence on X
In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Cohen has developed a reputation as an X personality. He often pokes fun at himself and corporate America.
There is nothing more foolish than cat litter and video games
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) August 3, 2023
Work hard or please leave
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) June 30, 2023
I challenge Warren Buffett to a thumb war
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) June 23, 2023
I just got off the phone with what was once a great American brand. Lots of problems, no accountability for high paid execs and little interest in my help (at no cost). This could get interesting.
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) April 12, 2023
What Is Ryan Cohen’s Net Worth?
Thanks to his work at Chewy, Ryan Cohen has an estimated net worth of $3 billion, according to Forbes. His fortune has nearly doubled since 2021.
Apart from his investments in Chewy and GameStop, Cohen also became Apple’s single largest investor in 2020, purchasing 6.2 million shares, according to TheStreet.
Additionally, he also bought stock in Bed Bath & Beyond last year, but soon sold the shares for $68 million. He wrote a letter to the company’s board offering guidance to improve management.
Cohen is also said to own millions worth of stock in Alibaba and Nordstrom.