Founder of Overstock steps down as CEO following "deep state" comments
Patrick Byrne, the controversial Founder of Overstock, has stepped down as CEO following a strange post where he claimed that he helped the FBI carry out political espionage. The statement triggered a steep decline in Overstock's stock price which rebounded after it was announced that Byrne would step down. Jonathan E. Johnson III has been appointed Interim CEO.
In a press release, Byrne said: "In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters. Doing so was not my first choice, but I was reminded of the damage done to our nation for three years and felt my duty as a citizen precluded me from staying silent any longer. So, I came forward in as carefully and well-managed fashion as I could. The news that I shared is bubbling (however haphazardly) into the public. Though patriotic Americans are writing me in support, my presence may affect and complicate all manner of business relationships, from insurability to strategic discussions regarding our retail business. Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday August 22."
Johnson has been with the Company for nearly 17 years and serves on the Board and as the President of Medici Ventures, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary focusing on blockchain innovation. He will continue to serve on the boards of Overstock, Medici Ventures, and tZERO, and will also continue in his role as president of Medici Ventures.
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