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GAME CEO quits, disappointed by media coverage

Ian Shepherd warns employees of "rocky road ahead"

GAME Group CEO Ian Shepherd has resigned from the company after it officially went into administration this morning.

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In internal memos obtained by MCV, he warned staff of a difficult week to come and also expressed disappointment with the impact that media coverage of the retailer's demise has had on his employees.

"I've said a number of times that the administrator, once appointed, takes charge of the business," Shepherd said.

"Having two people try to do that is both confusing and a waste of money. With that in mind, I've agreed with Mike [Jarvis from PwC] that I will step down as CEO and the business immediately - this is my final email to you all."

"He will certainly make big changes, both to the store estate and in the office, but will be doing so with a view to creating a trading business that he can attract a buyer for.

"As I've said before, the business is worth more trading than not. It's going to be a difficult week for everyone, but the best thing you can all do is support Mike and his team, and do your best to help create the most positive outcome you can."

In a message sent to staff on Friday, Shepherd also warned employees (via MCV) that they shouldn't trust everything they read in the media.

"A second thing I hear a lot, though, is 'why do we keep hearing more on in the internet and through the trade press than we do officially through the company?' That bothers me a lot, because it is really important to me to be as open and straight with all of you as I possibly can be.

"The reality, I'm afraid, is that a lot of what you read online is speculation about things that might happen, rather than facts about what actually is happening. Some of it ends up being right, a lot doesn't, but I can completely understand why it feels like you are reading more online than you are hearing from us.

Shepherd continued by laying out the "a few solid facts" about GAME's situation for staff, before concluding: "Everything else you read online is simply speculation. It's painful to read so much coverage and feel so powerless about it, but I'm afraid it goes with the territory of being in this awful situation.

"Finally, the other thing I hear a bit of is anger - how did we come to be in this situation when other, supposedly weaker retailers have limped along? I share that frustration. I have fought, and all of the management team here have fought with every ounce of energy to avoid arriving at this point. That we haven't succeeded makes me angry and sad in equal measure. As your CEO, this is my responsibility and I don't shirk from that.

"After all of that, I'd reiterate one final message from earlier in the week. The best thing we can do now is demonstrate clearly, to an administrator and to potential buyers, that this is a great business filled with great, committed people. We have a rocky road ahead, but this is not the end for this business on the High Street. Stay with it."

GAME Group officially announced the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as its administrator this morning "after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative".

Reports over the weekend claimed a consortium of GAME's lenders led by Royal Bank of Scotland has tabled a bid to buy the company out of administration.

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