Digital retail platform Overstock.com’s new CEO is not planning any major changes to the company’s blockchain efforts after the departure of its founder.
Patrick Byrne, the now-former CEO of Overstock, made headlines Thursday after announcing his resignation as both the head of his company and a member of its board. He wrote in a letter to shareholders that he did not want to “disrupt possible strategic discussions” by remaining in his positions following his admission that he had a three-year relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina (at, according to Byrne, the FBI’s behest).
Over the past several years, Byrne has championed blockchain tools and projects, overseeing the growth of Medici Ventures, Overstock’s blockchain-focused subsidiary, and tZERO, the security token trading platform.
These projects will continue, said Jonathan Johnson, who was named interim CEO upon Byrne’s resignation.
“The fact that I am stepping into the CEO role means more of the same and more of the same focus for our blockchain business,” he said.
He told CoinDesk that he’s “all in” on Overstock’s blockchain efforts, noting that he had been running the day-to-day operations at Medici over the past three years and has even accepted his bonus in bitcoin in the past.
Johnson will retain his previous position as president of Medici concurrently with his new duties as interim Overstock CEO.
“I wasn’t just doing it for a paycheck, I’m doing it because I’m a full-on believer,” he said, adding:
“Not only have I drunk the Kool-Aid, I’m drunk on the Kool-Aid.”
As such, he does not expect much of Overstock, Medici or tZERO’s operations to change with his assuming command of the company.