Through a letter of resignation directed to shareholders of the company, Patrick Byrne, a widely known crypto advocate and enthusiast, presented his resignation as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Overstock.
Per a report from Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Byrne “abruptly resigned his post following eyebrow-raising comments about dating a spy and his involvement in a series of investigations into Hillary Clinton and Russia.”
Improving a Company through Crypto
Byrne is famous for bringing out the best of the crypto world to the e-commerce platform of the firm. He led the development and launch of tZero, which is Overstock’s crypto token ecosystem, and he also was the primary reason behind the company accepting Bitcoin payments to keep up with modern times.
The resignation of Byrnes comes around the same moment in time in which the company announced a disappointing performance in the first quarter of 2019, specifically referring to earnings. The crypto enthusiast also said that his “controversial” relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian operative currently in prison, also factored in the decision.
“In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters. 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. So, I came forward in as carefully and well-managed fashion as I could. The news that I shared is bubbling (however haphazardly) into the public,” he wrote.
“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. Thus, 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 stated.
Byrne took advantage of the opportunity to emphasize that he has faith that “the blockchain revolution will reshape key social institutions.” It is not clear, however, which stance will Overstock take regarding the use and implementation of the technology going forward now that he won’t be in charge.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, tZero reported pre-tax losses of $12.6 million, a situation that did not reduce Byrne’s confidence on the platform.
A Replacement in Place
Overstock announced via a press release the very same day that it already has a replacement in place. Jonathon Johnson will be the man tasked with the responsibility of filling Byrne’s shoes, and Kamelia Aryafar will take over as executive vice president of Overstock Retail and as a board member.
The statement released by Byrne when he said was a part of the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections made the company’s stock collapse, per Fox 13 Salt Lake City.
By Andres Chavez