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Overstock Names Jonathan Johnson as Company’s New CEO

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Overstock Names Jonathan Johnson as Company’s New CEO
Photo: Overstock

The board of Overstock.com has appointed Jonathan Johnson as the company’s CEO. He had been serving as interim CEO since company founder Patrick Byrne stepped down last month.

Online retail giant Overstock announced that they’re enthroning Jonathan Johnson, who was previously temporary signed, to be no its permanent CEO. Just for reminder, 10 days ago, the company’s, now ex CEO Patrick Byrne, announced that he’s dumped all of his equity holdings in the company over because, as he said, both the “deep state” and the government for his sale.

In a cryptic message to “Erstwhile Teammates” on his personal website, Patrick Byrne was “explaining” the reasons behind his departure from the internet retailer that sells discount furniture and bedding.

Be it as it may, in an announcement the company said Johnson had been appointed by its board, having served as interim CEO since Aug. 22.

What’s also interesting, when speaking about Byrne becomes worthy of any soap. Allegedly, the real reason of him stepping down as a CEO was that it has been discovered that he was in a three-year relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian agent who currently serving 18 months in prison. The CEO claimed he periodically communicated with the FBI about their interactions and said the government instructed him on how to interact with her. He then wrote:

“You think me controversial now, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. I know enough to fry the Deep State to ashes. The Deep State and the oligarchy are entwined, and they won’t die quietly.

If I had stayed at Overstock or even remained a large owner of OSTK, they would try to break Overstock as a way of crippling me.”

Johnson, on the other hand, a leader of Overstock’s blockchain accelerator Medici Ventures, said at the time that he was sure that Overstock’s future, including both the retail and blockchain is quite bright.

In the announcement, he explained his previous standings:

“Overstock has two unique businesses. I have run both, and I know how to unlock the value in each. I’m confident we can rapidly return our retail business to profitable growth. Our transformative blockchain businesses continue to lead their respective industries by getting real products into production.”

The company had a turbulent few months because, before leaving the company, Byrne had apparently attempted to impede short-sellers he believed were targeting the company by controversially opting to issue Overstock’s next investor dividend through a digital asset on the firm’s subsidiary exchange tZERO.

It was meant to block investors from trading the asset for six months and restricted the activity to a single platform. Still, Overstock wanted to soften its attitude by restructuring the dividend to make it freely tradeable at issuance.

But of course, just a day later, already controversial enough, Byrne dumped his 13 percent stake in the company, which he founded 20 years ago, to buy cryptocurrency and precious metals, saying it was an effort to fight his enemies at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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