Blockchain Entices Overstock CEO, Leading To Sale Of Retail Business In Upcoming February Deal
Overstock is one of the biggest online retail stores in the world. With low shipping fees and high-quality products, the company has been in business for over two decades and is the home to approximately 1,800 employees. In a recent turn of events, it seems that Patrick Byrne, the CEO of this massive company, has decided to jump ship and sell, according to a report by The Block.
The sale of Overstock is already in the works, but the finishing touches are planned for February 2019. Byrne is responsible for founding the company, acting as CEO since it was created with the exception of a brief time in 2016, due to complications with hepatitis C. He resumed his work as CEO several months later.
Byrne’s work involved the investment in Medici Ventures as well, which supports startups with blockchain technology. Some of the startups that thrives as a result are tZero and Voatz. The pursuance of Medici Ventures connects directly with the bold decision that Byrne made in 2014 for Overstock to become the first major retailer to provide consumers with the chance to pay for their goods with Bitcoin.
Interestingly, Overstock has been suffering significantly in their share value year. Prior to the announcement of the sale, the retailer had been dealing with a loss of 66% this year. However, the shares rose by at least 26% as various news media outlets released information about the upcoming deal next year.
A writer for Forbes, Brittain Ladd, wrote on the future for Byrne after Overstock, but he made a brief note about what he believes has been causing Overstock’s struggle.
“Byrne is a major reason why Overstock hasn't done more. As Byrne's interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain grew, his focus on Overstock decreased.”
So far, the buyer(s) for the acquisition have not been released to any major news outlet. However, Ladd believes that the companies that would be keen to be involved are Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, Kroger, and others.
Even with the announcement of the sale, nothing seems to be much different for the company online. Just hours ago, the company was on Twitter to post about their impressive Black Friday sales to bring in customers. However, once the acquisition completes, consumers need to be on the lookout for the changes that will arise.