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Meet Ellen Gordon, 83-Year-Old CEO of 'Tootsie Rolls' Which Gained Millions from GameShop Fiasco

Tootsie Rolls CEO Ellen Gorgon was surprised to prices of her stocks skyrocketing last week |  Image credit: Reuters

Tootsie Rolls CEO Ellen Gorgon was surprised to prices of her stocks skyrocketing last week | Image credit: Reuters

The GameShop stock surge has caused a ripple in Wall Street and one of the companies that has scored is Tootsie Rolls which at one point last week was valued at 4 billion USD.

The GameShop stock surge sent the stock market in disarray in the past week, with a community of Redditors upstaging Wall Stree by pushing up the price of stocks of the struggling gaming company. While stocks for GameShop itself skyrocketed from $100 to over $300 in just a matter of days, several other companies also felt the ripple effect. One such company is the American 'mom and pop' candy brand Tootsie Rolls. And the surge has also brought attention to Ellen Gordon, the octogenarian running the show for 53 years.

Who is Ellen Gordon, the CEO of Tootsie Rolls?

89-year-old Ellen Gordon is a Harvard graduate who became the CEO of Tootsie Rolls in 2015 when her husband Melvin J. Gordon. With a 55 percent stake in the popular brand, Gordon became a multibillionaire at the age of 83. According to a report in Bloomberg, Gordon's net worth was $2.2 billion.

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What is Tootsie Roll?

Tootsie Roll Industries is a popular American confectionary brand known for its namesake candies knows as "tootsie rolls" and "tootsie pops". In 1896, a candymaker named Leo Hirshfield came up with the concept of tootsie pops - chocolate-flavored candies that did not melt as fast as chocolates and were a cheaper alternative to the former. He named the candies after the nickname of daughter Clara Hirshfield. By 1917, the candy shop Hirshfield worked in expanded and was renamed as The Sweets Company of America. According to a report in The Fortune, Tootsie Rolls first debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 1922. In 2935 when the company ran into financial trouble, it was acquired by Joseph Rubin & Sons, the company that had previously been the primary supplier of paper boxes for The Sweets Company. Bernard Rubin became the President of the company, which later passed on to William Rubin and then to his daughter Ellen.

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Not just a second in command

Ellen Rubin married Melvin J Gordon in 1950. Gordon became CEO of The Sweet Company of America in 1962 and from 1966 onward, the company adopted its new name. When Melvin died in 2015 at the age of 95, he was the oldest CEO of a company that had been listed either on NYSE or Nasdaq. Upon his death, the reins of Tootsie Rolls passed over to the hands of Ellen Gordon. This, however, does not mean that before his death, Gordon's role was that of a bystander. Having inherited the company along with Melvin, the duo ran in as equal partners. Having started working at Tootsie Rolls in 1968 in the pension planning and product development department. By 1978, she was the chief operating officer of Tootsie Rolls as well as President along with Melvin who was CEO.

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Why is Tootsie Rolls in news now?

The GameStop stocks surge caused a ripple effect in the market with many companies reaping the benefits of the fight between day sellers and hedge-fund traders. As the prices of GameShop stocks skyrocketed following a "coup" by members of a Reddit group called WallStreetBets who started "movement" of sorts. Pirate investors caused an overnight surge in GameStop's stock prices by pumping up the prices. Financial experts have since called it an effort to cause financial damage to hedge-fund short-sellers who often short sell stocks by betting against it in a planned move to derive profits out of the stock's failure. The moves in stocks caused a surge in the prices of Tootsie Rolls' stocks as well, which spiked to $4 billion this week. Stocks that generally traded at $30 spiked to $58.98 last Wednesday.

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