Overstock CEO resigns after ‘Deep State’ comments drop stocks

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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.

Overstock.com, which is based in Midvale, Utah, named company veteran and board member Jonathan E. Johnson III as interim CEO.

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