retailer Overstock’s shares surged 15 percent on Thursday after CEO
Patrick Byrne resigned. The resignation followed the news of his
involvement in FBI probe into Russian espionage involving former U.S.
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Rattling the investors, this
news had triggered a 30% drop in Overstock’s shares earlier in the
a letter addressed to investors Byrne said: “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.”
confirmed a report by Fox News contributor Sara Carter that he had a
relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian agent currently lodged in a
U.S. prison. Butina had revealed her part in the conspiracy to
influence U.S. conservatives and Republicans.
any normal day, my presence is not conducive to strategic discussions
regarding our retail business. I believe that going forward, my
presence will definitely not be conducive to such strategic
discussions,” Byrne stated in his Aug 11 letter.
libertarian with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University,
Byrne is a major proponent of blockchain technology and
cryptocurrency. He had spent a decade battling short-sellers
targeting the Overstock while it pitted against rivals such as
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and eBay Inc (EBAY.O).
Thursday, he celebrated the company’s executives with pop culture
and cinema references, such as calling the CMO “Commander Data,”
from Star Trek.
stock had fallen more than 70 percent from record highs in January
2018, when Overstock massively gained from Byrne’s plan to launch a
of now, the company is more targeted by short-sellers than 99% of
companies in the United States. As per S3 Partners analytics, the
total short-bets against Overstock stand at $267 million, balancing
almost 50% of its float.
a press statement, Overstock updated the appointment of company
veteran Jonathan Johnson as interim CEO.