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GAME over as CFO Smith to leave high street retailer

THE CFO of video games retailer Game Digital (GAME) is to step down later this year, the company said as it announced a slump in operating profits in its maiden interim results. 

Benedict Smith, who joined GAME in January 2013, helped lead the retailer through a turnaround and an IPO during his two year spell at the business.

He will remain on the board until July working with GAME’s recently appointed UK FD Alan Evans, until a successor is found. Korn Ferry has been appointed to manage the recruitment process.

“Benedict has been a key member our management team which has transformed GAME, achieved a successful IPO and driven forward our strategy of being at the heart of the gaming community,” said CEO Martyn Gibbs.

The announcement of Smith’s departure came as the company revealed an 18.5% fall in operating profit to £39.2m for the 26 weeks ending 24 January 2015. Revenues were slightly down at £582.1m.

GAME has been through a rollercoaster ride in recent years. Concerns over its credit worthiness saw major suppliers hold back stock, and the retailer enter administration in 2012 before being purchased a week later.

Nearly half of GAME’s stores were closed as part of the administration process. In 2014 GAME listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Smith spent several months at Comet prior to joining GAME, having served as Harrods FD for six years. He also held roles with Spirit Group, Texas Pacific and PwC.

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