Ryan Cohen

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Ryan Cohen
Ryan Cohen 2019.jpg
Ryan Cohen

1985/1986 (age 35–36)[1]
OccupationEntrepreneur, Activist Investor
Known forCo-Founder and CEO of Chewy (2011 – 2018), Chairman of GameStop (2021-present)

Ryan Cohen (born 1985 or 1986) is the co-founder and former CEO of e-commerce company Chewy.[2] He is also an activist investor[3][4] and the current Chairman of GameStop.[5]


In 2011, at the age of 25, Cohen founded Chewy under its original name of MrChewy.[6] Cohen says his inspiration for picking the pet category came from his experience shopping for his poodle Tylee.[7] He cites his father Ted, who ran a glassware importing business, as a mentor.[8][9] In need of capital, Cohen says he originally approached over 100 venture capital firms and was rejected by all of them.[10][11] In 2013, Cohen secured the company's first outside investment from Volition Capital for $15 million.[12] By 2016, he had raised capital from investors including BlackRock and T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund.[13] That year the company had $900 million in sales and had become the number 1 online pet retailer.[14] By 2017, he raised $350 million and was preparing for an IPO.[15]

In April 2017, PetSmart purchased Chewy for $3.35 billion in the largest e-commerce acquisition of all time.[15] That year Fortune named Cohen one of its "40 under 40"[16] and Vox named him to its Recode 100 list.[17] Cohen remained CEO following the acquisition and operated the business largely as an independent unit of PetSmart.[14] He grew the business to 3.5 billion in revenue in 2018[15] prior to stepping down as CEO to pursue personal goals and spend time with his family.[2] In June 2019, Chewy went public at a valuation of $8.7 billion.[18]

In January 2021, Cohen joined the GameStop board along with two Chewy executives. Cohen was also appointed Chairman to lead a new committee in charge of a company-wide transformation.[19] Cohen's appointment triggered a stock rally resulting in a short squeeze. Within two weeks the stock had increased by 1,500%.[20] Since then, Cohen has been instrumental in a number of changes at GameStop,[21] including the departure of multiple executives and ten members of the board of directors,[19] and the hiring of multiple Amazon and Chewy executives in leadership positions.[22] He became Chairman following the annual shareholder meeting.[5][23]


Following the sale of Chewy, Cohen made a significant investment in Apple, making him the largest individual shareholder of the tech company with 1.55 million shares (6.2 million split-adjusted shares as of August 31, 2020).[3][24]

In September 2020, Cohen disclosed a near 10% stake in GameStop,[25] making him the company's biggest individual investor. This was later increased to 12.9% on December 17, 2020 through an amended 13D filing with SEC.[26] According to these filings, Cohen’s firm, RC Ventures, has expressed willingness to get more involved with the company in order “to produce the best results for all shareholders."[27]


  1. ^ "He’s 34 years old and owns $550 million worth of Apple — so why is he hoping the stock gets hammered?" MarketWatch, June 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Dahlberg, Nancy (March 15, 2018). "Co-founder Ryan Cohen stepping down as CEO of Chewy, a homegrown success story". Miami Herald.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Matthews, Chris (March 23, 2020). "How the coronavirus stock-market rout dealt Chewy's founder a $150 million blow to his Apple holdings, for now". MarketWatch.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Trentmann, Nina; Maurer, Mark (February 24, 2021). "GameStop CFO Was Forced Out as Activist Investor Pushes New Strategy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Kharif, Olga; Melin, Anders (April 26, 2021). "Ryan Cohen Maps Out GameStop Turnaround Plan". Bloomberg L.P.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Lima, Debora (March 3, 2017). "Chewy goes toe-to-toe with mainstay brands". The Business Journals. American City Business Journals.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Verdon, Joan (June 14, 2019). "Don't Bet Against Pets: Retail Lessons From The Chewy IPO". Forbes. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Verdon, Joan (January 26, 2020). "Ryan Cohen Started A Company That Took On Amazon, And Sold It For $3 Billion. Now He's Thinking About What's Next". Forbes.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Cohen, Ryan (May 4, 2020). "The Secret Weapon Behind Chewy Founder Ryan Cohen's Success". Entrepreneur.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Adams, Susan (January 10, 2017). "The Man Who Found Gold In Dog Food". Forbes.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Dahlberg, Nancy (March 26, 2018). "What it's like to grow and sell a multibillion-dollar company, at age 32". Miami Herald.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Cohen, Ryan (January–February 2020). "The Founder of Chewy.com on Finding the Financing to Achieve Scale". Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Publishing.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Zaleski, Olivia (November 22, 2016). "Your Dog Deserves an Oil Portrait With Her Gluten-Free Kibble". Bloomberg L.P.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ a b Armental, Maria (April 18, 2017). "PetSmart's Latest Bite at E-Commerce: Chewy.com". The Wall Street Journal.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ a b c Gottfried, Miriam (October 1, 2019). "How PetSmart Swallowed Chewy—and Proved the Doubters Wrong". The Wall Street Journal.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "40 Under 40". Fortune. 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Del Rey, Jason (December 6, 2017). "Ryan Cohen kept Chewy under the radar until it sold for more than $3 billion". Vox. Retrieved July 23, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Gonzalez, Guadalupe (June 14, 2019). "Chewy's Co-Founder and Former CEO Explains How the Startup Went From Zero to a $8.7 Billion Public Company". Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Gilbert, Ben (March 25, 2021). "Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen is clearing house at GameStop, bringing in e-commerce experts to transform it into the Amazon of gaming". Business Insider.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Li, Yun (January 27, 2021). "GameStop mania explained: How the Reddit retail trading crowd ran over Wall Street pros". CNBC.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Herbst-Bayliss, Svea (March 23, 2021). "From pet food to video games: inside Ryan Cohen's GameStop obsession". Reuters. ISSN 2293-6343. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  22. ^ Reuters Staff (March 30, 2021). "GameStop shakeup rolls on, hires Amazon executive as chief growth officer". Reuters.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Thomas, Lauren (April 8, 2021). "GameStop says it will name Ryan Cohen chairman". CNBC. Retrieved December 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ Pendleton, Devon (June 5, 2020). "A Tech Founder Cashed Out and Bet It All on Apple and Wells Fargo". Bloomberg L.P.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ Kharif, Olga (September 21, 2020). "GameStop Rises on Investor's Plan to Make It an Amazon Rival". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved October 13, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN STATEMENTS FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 13d-1(a) AND AMENDMENTS THERETO FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 13d-2(a)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN STATEMENTS FILED PURSUANT TO 13d-1(a) AND AMENDMENTS THERETO FILED PURSUANT TO 13d-2(a)". GameStop. September 21, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)