Since company founder and maverick CEO Patrick Byrne stepped away earlier this year, Jonathan Johnson, who headed up the company’s Medici Ventures project previously, has been running the company.
Today Overstock announced that they’ll be keeping Johnson as CEO.
Johnson Stays On, Keeps Overstock Blockchain Priorities In Place
Johnson has previously spoken about the company’s goals, and he has no intention of recentering Overstock on its retail mission.
Overstock has played a huge role in the Bitcoin world, being one of the first major stores to accept Bitcoin and later a myriad of other cryptocurrencies. The company all but pivoted toward blockchain technology beginning in 2017, launching Medici ventures.
Medici has had some important successes, including signing agreements with various governments to integrate blockchain solutions.
Under Johnson’s direction, Overstock’s commitment to blockchain won’t waiver. Johnson said in an announcement today:
“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.”
In other boardroom news, Overstock also announced that it has appointed Robert Hughes as acting Chief Financial Officer. Overstock lost its CFO just last week, on the 17th.
Hughes will fill the role until a permanent replacement is found.
The executive currently serves as head of Medici’s Land Governance wing, one of its more successful projects which has inked deals with governments including Rwanda.
The shuffling may signal a less disruptive path ahead for Overstock, as the company slowly drifts beyond its days with Patrick Byrne at the helm. Byrne was again in the national spotlight earlier this year after admitting that he had been romantically involved with a convicted Russian spy – at the direction of the US government.
Byrne’s War With The Deep State
Byrne insists that the real reason he had to leave was that the company could not obtain insurance with him at the helm. Greg Iverson, who has now resigned as CFO, told the board in writing that it would be “impossible.”
In a somewhat confusing post earlier this week, the crypto true believer announced that he would be liquidating most of his position in Overstock in order to go big on cryptocurrency. In some adjacent way he indicated that he would be combating the “deep state,” writing:
“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. There is going to be an enormous amount of return fire directed at me: the blather of the hedge fund choagies in the financial press against Overstock since I came forward is a manifestation of that (look back at what happened when I first came forward: there was silence for two weeks as the Bosses readied a new party line, then it came at us simultaneously from all directions at once).”
Johnson and Hughes have yet to make a similar reputation for themselves, likely to investor relief.
The company’s stock was down almost 25% at time of writing, however, indicating that today’s news may not be enough to soothe FUD.