Business

Overstock CEO resigns after ‘Deep State’ comments roil stock

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).”

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Colder and quiet rest of the week.

A good 20° swing this morning with temperatures in the lower to mid 20s this morning with feel like temperatures in teens. Will be a clear start then brighter heading through the rest of the morning and the afternoon! Sunshine won’t hep us out too much in terms of temperatures today. Day time highs should warm to the upper 30s. Tonight will be cold one with lows in the lower 20s with a partly cloudy sky.

Thursday will another cold one with highs struggling to reach 30°. It’ll still be a bright one with a mostly to partly sunny sky. A slow warming trend will start Friday with highs warming to the upper 30s with a mixture of sun and clouds.

This weekend will be split with a chance of showers arriving late in the day Sunday. Highs will continue to warm to the mid 40s Saturday with a partly sunny sky. Clouds return Sunday with showers later in the evening and overnight. Rain will continue through Monday. Tuesday looks to be a dry day for now then showers should return by mid week with highs in the mid 40s.

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