CEO Makes $500k Off GameStop Stock Run, Donates It to Barstool Fund for Businesses

With GameStop's stock soaring, Social Capital founder and CEO Chamath Palihapitiya took advantage of the video game retailer's good fortune and donated the half a million dollars he apparently made in profits off of GameStop stocks to Barstool Sports' Barstool Fund, which helps businesses that are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday morning, Palihapitiya tweeted that he was buying $115,000 worth of GameStop stock, after asking followers what he should invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in. At least two people responded advising GameStop, the worth of which has skyrocketed in part due to big names like Elon Musk endorsing the stock and a rally to get the valuation up by the subreddit r/WallStreetBets.

Lots of $GME talk soooooo....

We bought Feb $115 calls on $GME this morning.

Let’s gooooooo!!!!!!!!

— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 26, 2021

Palihapitiya tweeted just after midnight on Wednesday that "today was a fun day," sharing a meme someone created about him and Musk following popular a r/WallStreetBets user's move to invest in GameStop.

today was a fun day.

— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 27, 2021

dear journal, today was busy:

1. bought some YOLO calls on $gme
2. announced i'm running for governor of CA?
3. bought more Li, Ni and Co supply for batteries
4. finished details of a new insurance company i co-founded

details of #4 coming tmr morning. lmk what you think...

— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 27, 2021

During a Wednesday appearance on CNBC's Halftime Report, Palihapitiya announced his plan to donate to Barstool Sports' COVID-19 relief effort. "This morning I woke up after spending all last night on Wall Street Bets, reading about all this stuff. I ended up closing out my positions this morning, and I wanted to announce that I'm taking all the profits that I made plus my original position—so I'm gonna take $500,000—and I'm gonna donate to the Barstool Fund for small businesses," he said.

Shoutout to @chamath who just closed out of his $GME position (500k +profits) and is giving it ALL to the @BarstoolFund

Incredible. #BarstoolFund

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 27, 2021

Barstool Sports and Barstool President Dave Portnoy tweeted their thanks for the generous donation. A number of people on the r/WallStreetBets subreddit have expressed anger with Wall Street hedge funds for shorting stocks like GameStop—and that's no doubt part of the motivation to drive up the stock's price. A bunch of memes in the sub take glee in upsetting the system in which hedge funds thrive.

Portnoy joked on Twitter that, with this donation from Palihapitiya, he was "the official face of the revolution." He also criticized CNBC's coverage of everything going on with GameStop's stock. "The only time CNBC and the Suits care about protection is when it's the establishment getting their teeth kicked in. As long as the big banks are winning the stock market is great. The second retail takes the wheel it's all unfair," he wrote.

Thank you @chamath for the 500k donation to #BarstoolFund Wait am I now the official face of the revolution? #ddtg #stocksonlygoup

— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 27, 2021

I fucking love this guy @chamath The only time CNBC and the Suits care about protection is when it’s the establishment getting their teeth kicked in. As long as the big banks are winning the stock market is great. The second retail takes the wheel it’s all unfair

— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 27, 2021

Palihapitiya responded to Portnoy with the acronym "LFG," which stands for "Let's f**king go."

Portnoy's made headlines with his recent efforts to help small businesses, which is a far cry from the controversies that have occasionally put him in the news in the past. In June 2020, Portnoy released a video saying that "Cancel Culture [was] finally coming for Barstool," in response to outrage over old Barstool videos in which Portnoy used the n-word while rapping and made disparaging comments about NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

In December 2020, Portnoy launched the Barstool Fund to help small businesses that had been struggling due to the COVID-19 crisis. The so-called "Stool Presidente" established the fund with $500,000 and announced that he'd offer cash to businesses that had kept their employees on the payroll through the pandemic. "These people aren't going out of business because they're not successful or not making money, it's because they have no other choice. It's because they've been dealt a hand that nobody could play," he said at the time.

Newsweek reached out to the Barstool Fund and Social Capital via email for comment.

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People pass a GameStop store in lower Manhattan on September 16, 2019 in New York City. GameStop has announced that they will be closing between 180 and 200 stores before the end of the fiscal year due to a drop in sales. Spencer Platt/Getty