Overstock CEO resigns after ‘Deep State’ comments roil stock

Business
Patrick Byrne

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2007, file photo Patrick Byrne, President and CEO of Overstock.com is reflected on a large television screen while being interviewed at the headquarters for supporters of school vouchers in Salt Lake City. Byrne has resigned, saying he’d become “far too controversial” to helm the e-commerce company known for selling discounted sofas and jewelry. Bryne, who founded the online discount retailer 20 years ago, said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, that was “in the sad position” of having to step down. (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The CEO of Overstock.com has resigned, saying he’d become “far too controversial” to helm the e-commerce company known for selling discounted sofas and jewelry.

Patrick Byrne’s resignation Thursday came after the company issued a bizarre statement last week in which the former CEO referred to the “Deep State,” called federal agents “Men in Black” and confirmed a journalist’s stories detailing his relationship with Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist who was sentenced to prison for being an unregistered agent of Russia.

Overstock.com’s shares fell 36% in the two days after the statement was made public.

Byrne, who founded the online discount retailer 20 years ago, said Thursday that he was “in the sad position” of having to step down.

“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.

Overstock.com based in Midvale, Utah, named company veteran and board member Jonathan E. Johnson III as interim CEO.

The company’s shares jumped $1.62, or 8.3%, to close Thursday at $21.12.

In his statement last week, Byrne said he had helped law enforcement on three occasions, the last being “less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Turkey Day Giveaway

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Recent Videos

Lawton, WF Chambers of Commerce officials talk 2020 economic growth plans

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lawton, WF Chambers of Commerce officials talk 2020 economic growth plans"

Texoma officials to recognize 'Imagine a Day Without Water' to emphasize conservation

Thumbnail for the video titled "Texoma officials to recognize 'Imagine a Day Without Water' to emphasize conservation"

Prop 4 would make it harder for Texas to implement personal income tax

Thumbnail for the video titled "Prop 4 would make it harder for Texas to implement personal income tax"

Search for 90-pound Texoma tortoise sparks social media storm

Thumbnail for the video titled "Search for 90-pound Texoma tortoise sparks social media storm"

WFPD investigates church vandalism

Thumbnail for the video titled "WFPD investigates church vandalism"

UPDATE: 32 animals seized from Wichita Co. residence

Thumbnail for the video titled "UPDATE: 32 animals seized from Wichita Co. residence"

4-year-old saves drowning sister

Thumbnail for the video titled "4-year-old saves drowning sister"

Pure Horror: Blood flood fills Iowa family's basement!

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pure Horror: Blood flood fills Iowa family's basement!"

Fighting For Their Flag: Family Takes On HOA

Thumbnail for the video titled "Fighting For Their Flag: Family Takes On HOA"

Animals taken from Iowa Park home, Silent clips, compiled

Thumbnail for the video titled "Animals taken from Iowa Park home, Silent clips, compiled"

Animals taken from Iowa Park Home vid8

Thumbnail for the video titled "Animals taken from Iowa Park Home vid8"

Animals taken from Iowa Park Home vid7

Thumbnail for the video titled "Animals taken from Iowa Park Home vid7"
Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It

Latest News

More Local News