MarketWatch First Take: The latest chapter in Patrick Byrne’s soap opera doesn’t change much for Overstock
The sudden resignation of Overstock.com Inc. founder and Chief Executive Patrick Byrne takes away a major distraction, but doesn’t solve any issues for the questionable company.
Byrne announced his resignation Tuesday morning, a week after he told the world in a corporate news release that he had an affair with a Russian spy and had provided important information to the “men in black” in Washington. Consistent with that spy drama, Byrne wrapped up his time at Overstock with a lengthy interview in Forbes, in which he sounded like a character on the lam in a film noir.
“I will be sitting on a beach in South America shortly, and that is all I want to think about,” he told Forbes in a call from his car, after delivering a farewell speech to his surprised employees. Byrne told the reporter he had his bags packed. “I want to focus on getting back into good shape, doing yoga and becoming a vegetarian.”
An escape to South America and a focus on getting in shape sounds like the plans of a future fugitive from justice, not a chief executive. So this is a good time to mention that Overstock is in the middle of an apparently expanding Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. And that is just one of the issues that should temper any optimism Overstock investors should feel as Byrne takes his leave. But the latest chapter in the saga of Overstock
In a lengthy 16-minute interview on Fox Business’s “Bulls and Bears,” Byrne said he is leaving Overstock in a “perfect place” and said that he is “not getting chased out” of his company. He said he came forward with information about political espionage against Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump because he felt it was his duty as an American, and that it had nothing to do with Overstoc