Tags: Russia Probe | overstock | ceo | resign | fbi | probe

Overstock.com CEO Resigns After Revealing Involvement in FBI-Russia Probe

Overstock.com CEO Resigns After Revealing Involvement in FBI-Russia Probe
(Overstock)

Thursday, 22 August 2019 01:23 PM

Overstock.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne resigned on Thursday, a week after saying he was involved in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into Russia and former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters," Byrne said in a letter to shareholders.

"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,” Byrne said in a statement. “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,” he 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, effective Thursday August 22," he added. 

Overstock.com’s stock (OSTK) surged 15% after the news.

His resignation follows a drop of over 30% in Overstock’s shares over two days earlier this month, with investors rattled after Byrne claimed in a statement on Thursday that he had secretly been involved with the FBI.

A libertarian with a doctorate in philosophy from Stanford University, Byrne for over a decade has publicly battled short sellers targeting his company as it competes against larger rivals, including Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY), and he is known for making brash statements.

In May, Byrne lashed out at investors who questioned the motivation behind his sale of about 15% of his Overstock shares, saying he had to supplement his $100,000 a year salary and vowing never to “give such an explanation again.”

The stock has fallen more than 70% from record highs in January 2018, when Overstock was benefiting from Byrne’s plan to launch a digital token and from hype around cryptocurrencies.

Byrne, who founded Overstock 20 years ago, has been in hot water since he responded to claims of his involvement in the federal government’s investigation into the 2016 election, CNBC explained.

In a statement titled “Overstock.com CEO Comments on Deep State, Withholds Further Comment,” Byrne referred to federal agents as the “Men in Black” and said he assisted in investigations related to the Clintons and Russian interference.

In an interview with The New York Times published three days later, Byrne claimed he was romantically involved with Maria Butina, the Russian operative who used her National Rifle Association activism to infiltrate American politics. She was later sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Overstock said it would appoint Jonathan Johnson, an Overstock board member and president of Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary Medici Ventures, as interim CEO.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Companies
Overstock.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne resigned on Thursday, a week after saying he was involved in a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into Russia and former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
overstock, ceo, resign, fbi, probe
465
2019-23-22
Thursday, 22 August 2019 01:23 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved