Game was dealt a blow this week with the exit of its two most senior executives as it revealed a sharp fall in full-year profits and turnover and plans to close more than 100 stores.
Chief executive Lisa Morgan has stepped down to “pursue other opportunities” while chief operating officer Terry Scicluna will also leave.
The retailer has appointed non-executive director Chris Bell, previously chief executive of betting chain Ladbrokes, to the position of interim chief executive.
Morgan, who has been at Game for 14 years and held the top role for three, had indicated to the board “some time ago” her intention to step down, according to Bell, who said Game was now seeking an external “very experienced Plc director”.
Execution Noble analyst Sanjay Vidyarthi said the loss of Morgan and Scicluna is a “big blow” to Game.
Singer Capital Markets analyst Matthew Eachran said: “This degree of management change at a time when the business is facing tough conditions is likely to be unsettling.”
In the year to January 31 group pre-tax profit slumped 28% to £84m, while group like-for-likes fell 15%. Turnover declined 10% to £1.8bn, although the retailer said it outperformed the market.
In the UK and Ireland like-for-likes dropped 17.3%. Web sales fell 9.1%, but Game said it had beat the market.
In the 11 weeks to April 17 like-for-likes plummeted 20.1% in the UK and Ireland and slid 3.9% in its international business.
Game has 677 domestic stores, but will reduce this number to 550 by Christmas 2013 as it seeks to “minimise store overlap”. Bell said Game can “reduce the number of outlets without losing market share”, but added a “strong store presence is important”. The retailer is also launching new digital initiatives.
Chairman Peter Lewis, who praised Morgan’s “exceptional contribution”, said: “The group has delivered the second best trading performance in its history. Our results were delivered against the backdrop of a very difficult trading environment.”