Renowned crypto champion Patrick Byrne has announced his resignation as Overstock CEO. Byrne was a rare ardent crypto worshipper despite leading a public US company.
In a letter to the shareholders on Thursday, Byrne said he was stepping down as the CEO of the company and also as a member of the board of directors as a result of insurability. Byrne also cited that his romantic relationship with Maria Butina, a Russian agent who is currently serving an 18 months jail time after she pleaded guilty of working as a foreign agent was part of the reason he was resigning.
Byrne’s position will be taken over by Johnthan Johnson in an interim capacity. Johnson is currently the president of Overstock’s blockchain venture Medici Ventures, said a press statement released by the company.
In an acceptance statement, Johnson praised Byrne as a visionary leader who was ardent about innovations and whose under his 20 year tenure the company had achieved greater heights. Johnson said it will be his mission to continue building Overstock’s achievements as well as success.
Johnson stated that he was confident that the company’s future was bright both in retail as well as blockchain.
On his part, Byrne stated that having worked with Johnson for a long time, he had no doubt that Johnson was ready for the job and will successfully oversee both the retail as well as the blockchain businesses.
During his reign as Overstock CEO, Byrne made the company crypto friendly, including the starting of tzero, the company’s crypto token platform. He also made the company to accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment.
Cointelegraph reports that in an acting capacity, Johnson will still serve as a member of the board of directors for both Medici Ventures and the company’s security token trading platform tZERO, as well as act as president of Medici. Meanwhile, Kamelia Aryafar will take Byrne’s place as a board member and executive vice president of Overstock Retail.