Overstock’s Patrick Byrne Steps Down From His CEO Position

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In recent news, Patrick Byrne, the long-time CEO of Overstock has announced in a letter to shareholders, that he is stepping down from his position. His position will be temporarily replaced by Jonathan Johnson.

Recently in a letter to all the shareholders, Overstock‘s CEO Patrick Byrne announced that he is resigning from his position at the company, and from the board of members as well. 

“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,” Byrne explained in the statement.

Just around a week ago, Patrick admitted his involvement in an FBI investigation about the 2016 U.S. presidential elections about the issue whether or not Russia had an impact on them. Turns out, he commented about a case where one of the people involved was a Russian agent called Maria Butina. In a press statement to The New York Times, Butina’s lawyer admitted that Butina and Byrne had been in an active relationship since 2015 and at the time of the election as well.

This is one of the main reasons for the resignation, as Maria Butina now serves an 18 month prison sentence after pleading guilty to the charges of acting as a foreign agent.

“We respect and understand Patrick’s reasons for resigning and acknowledge his momentous achievement in taking Overstock from a startup twenty years ago to one of the nation’s leading online retailers and positioning it at the forefront of the blockchain revolution,” said Abraham. “We have full confidence in both Jonathan’s ability to lead the company, and Kamelia’s expertise and insights to help the Board successfully lead Overstock into the coming months and years.”

An Early Bitcoin and Blockchain Supporter!

Putting the drama aside, Patrick has also been a very active Bitcoin and Blockchain supporter. No wonder Overstock was one of the first major retailers to accept Bitcoin from as early as January 2014. The ex-CEO praised all his employees and expressed his thoughts on the company’s strenghts and weaknesses. Patrick also shared his thoughts on blockchain technology when resigning saying:

“I think the blockchain revolution will reshape key social institutions. We have designed and breathed life into perhaps the most significant blockchain keiretsu in the world, a network of blockchain firms seeking to revolutionize identity, land governance (= rule of law = potential = capital), central banking, capital markets, supply chains, and voting,” he said.

As mentioned above, his place will temporarily be taken by Mr. Jonathan E. Johnson III who currently is the president of Overstock’s blockchain initiative Medici Ventures.

“In his twenty years as Overstock’s leader, Patrick’s vision for Overstock as an innovation leader has come to fruition. It will be my mission as I take the helm to continue and build on Overstock’s achievements and success,” said Johnson. “I am confident Overstock’s future – both in retail and blockchain – is bright.”

While acting as a temporary CEO, Johnson will also continue to be on the board of directors at Medici Ventures, the company’s security token trading platform tZERO, and be the president of Medici. 



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