Bitcoin Bull Patrick Byrne Resigns as Overstock CEO
CEO discloses a three-year relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian agent now in prison
Patrick Byrne resigned as CEO of Overstock.com on Thursday. In a letter to shareholders, the embattled executive admitted to having a relationship with a woman now serving 18 months in prison. Maria Butina pled guilty of acting as a foreign agent.
“In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters,” Byrne wrote. “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.”
The Bitcoin bull said he had no choice but to resign. Following the announcement, shares of Overstock shares popped more than 8.5%.
Patrick Byrne Led Overstock to Highs and Lows
The CEO was perhaps the most Bitcoin-friendly executive of a publicly-traded firm. His Overstock tenure included the launch of tZero and a crypto token platform. He also oversaw the company’s controversial decision to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
That said, TZero saw pre-tax losses of $12.6 million in Q4 2018. His resignation comes after a weak Q1 earnings report and a recent, bizarre press release about his involvement with the “deep state.”
Overstock After Patrick Byrne
Overstock was quick to announce Byrne’s temporary replacement. Jonathan Johnson will serve as interim CEO, while praising Byrne’s tenure.
“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 in the statement. “I am confident Overstock’s future – both in retail and blockchain – is bright.”
Meanwhile, Kamelia Aryafar assumes Byrne’s spot on the company’s board of directors.
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