Patrick Byrne

  • 01 Aug 2007 at 3:59 PM
  • Overstock

Patrick Byrne Goes Undercover Again

patrickbyrne.jpgIn an Overstock.com quarterly conference call yesterday, CEO Patrick Byrne said he does not post anonymously on internet message boards like the detestable Rahodeb Mackey, a claim Gary Weiss proved fallacious long ago.
What’s interesting about yesterday’s call, which ran for over an hour in the late morning and early afternoon, is that Byrne actually posted under his sobriquet, Hannibal, while the call was in progress. He wrote, “ thanks dude” at 11:43 on the Investor Village message board.
We suspect that the overstock board of directors are all Byrne creations as well. Joseph J. Tabacco, Jr., come on.
Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Posts on Internet During Conference Call [Gary Weiss]

Overstock CEO Admits To Anonymous Message Board Posts

patrickbyrne.jpgAlthough Gary Weiss has been on to him months, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne admitted to “pulling a Mackey” last night, writing on the Overstock website that, like Whole Foods CEO John “Rahodeb” Mackey, he posted on company-related message boards pseudonymously.
Byrne’s admission comes in response to this New York Times article, where he told reporters that unlike Mackey, “he never hides his true identity and always signs his name when he posts under his online handle, ‘Hannibal.’” But it appears that Byrne has occasionally let the sobriquet stand alone. Last night, Byrne wrote in an open letter to Times reporter Brad Stone,

Please provide a citation for this claim: “Mr. Byrne said that he never hides his true identity and always signs his name when he posts under his online handle, ‘Hannibal'”. Is it your claim that I used the words “always” and “never” in some message board post (and if so, please cite that post), or is it your claim that I stated this in our interview? I know for a fact that the claim is false as regards our interview, and believe it to be false with regard to any online posting, but I stand ready to be corrected.

Just how prevalent is this anonymous executive posting phenomena? If you frequent these boards, please share every suspicious nom de plum you come across. Be particularly wary of anagrammed names of an executive’s mother, sister, wife or daughter, famous military commanders and Republican presidents.
Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Admits He Posted Under Pseudonyms [Gary Weiss]
Take 5 With Patrick [Overstock.com]

  • 29 May 2007 at 1:10 PM
  • CEOs

Chief Audit Director Jumps Ship From Overstock

captainpatrickbyrneoverstockdirectorresignation.jpgAgainst all odds, the story of Overstock continues to get worse. The company has been a laughing stock to almost anyone who can be bothered to think about it anymore. It’s the focus of an SEC investigation. It is run by a chief executive whose name—Patrick Byrne—long ago became synonymous with wacky conspiracy theories. It regularly deploys nasty tactics to defame reporters who dare mention its deterioration. An it’s bleeding directors.
The latest news hit on Thursday when Ray Groves resigned from the board. Groves, who once ran Ernst & Young, was the head of Overstock’s audit committee. He was, in the eyes of some observers, the last and best hope the company had to maintaining a sense of credibility. His departure comes as only the latest of a series of resignations by board members. The past year has seen also seen departures by directors John Fisher and John Byrne, the CEO’s father. When your father bails on your company, you know you are in trouble. Or rather, you would know. Patrick Byrne seems to think it’s a sign of his company’s strength. Or something. We’ve long ago given up trying to figure out anything about what goes on inside of Byrne-the-younger’s brain.
But other’s have not. After we took off for the long-weekend, Gary Weiss, Sam Antar and Herb Greenberg all looked into the latest resignation. What’s behind the latest departure? Well, the same thing that was behind the departure of Fischer and Byrne-the-elder: the CEO’s ridiculous “jihad” against the “sith lords” on Wall Street he claims are behind a naked shorting conspiracy that is depressing his company’s stock price.
“In a letter contained in an SEC filing this morning, Groves told the company, ‘My resignation relates to the company’s prime broker suit.’ That’s Overstock’s suit alleging that prime brokers are somehow involved in a naked shorting conspiracy,” Greenberg reports.
[But is it more than the Overstock's lawsuit against prime brokers? Read more after the jump.]

Read more »

  • 07 Aug 2006 at 9:06 AM
  • Overstock

Gary Weiss Reads Patrick Byrne So You Don’t Have To

patrickbyrne.jpgGary Weiss, the author of Wall Street Versus America, picks some choice excerpts from Overstock.Com CEO Patrick Byrne’s blog and issues a promise to be the internet’s personal Patrick Byrne watchdog.

Rest assured that there is no need to actually visit Byrne’s blog or stay up late to follow his fave message board (where he was still posting at 8:28 tonight) to keep up to speed on his latest thoughts.
I will personally monitor the dog food, miscreant, bimbo, conspiracy, self-immolation and unfair-press situation, and will post further excerpts as developments warrant.


The (Recent) Wit and Wisdom of Patrick Byrne
[Gary-Weiss.Com]

patrickbyrne.jpgGary Weiss, author of Wall Street Versus America, listened to the Overstock.Com conference call so you wouldn’t have to. Not surprisingly, CEO Patrick Byrne found time to talk about things other than his company’s $0.78 per share net loss in the second quarter. Things like dastardly short-sellers and how shareholders might prevent them from pushing the value of their stock down even further.
We’ll leave the details for you to read by clicking through to Gary’s blog on the link below. But if you’re as lazy as we are on Fridays, you might appreciate skipping right to the conclusion.

Byrne’s gambit won’t work, by the way. History has proven that the only proven method of pushing up the share prices of bad companies is that they stop being bad. And Byrne just hasn’t figured out a way to do that.

Burn! (As DealBreaker cub reporter Bess Levin likes to say.)

Byrne’s Latest Gambit
[Gary-Weiss.Com]

OSTK Directors: Board or Bored?

Jeff Matthews asks a completely reasonable question: what is going on with the Board of Directors of Overstock.Com? At least a few of the directors seem to be sensible, well-regarded folks. Are they celebrating yesterday’s subpoena news with CEO Patrick Byrne? Or are they just bored with being directors and not really paying attention?
I cannot imagine that being a director at Overstock.Com is boring. To the contrary, shouldn’t being a lightsaber wielding jedi preparing to do battle with the Sith be just about the best job ever?
I mean, what else could a director ask for? Other than a Harley, obviously.
Bored of Directors? [JeffMatthewsIsNotMakingThisUp]

Byrne/Cramer/Greenberg, with a 2-For-1 Chewbacca Kicker

chewy.jpgGary Weiss points out that Overstock’s Patrick Byrne has been hanging out in the comments section of the Israpundit blog** lately defending himself against charges of anti-Semitism stemming from some commentary he made about Tom Friedman. Then he somehow laterals into a discussion of Jim Cramer and Herb Greenberg talking about him:

I do not think I have ever commented publicly on the Israel-Arab dispute. What I did in one blog was say that, regarding that dispute, Tom Friedman makes a habit of pretending to weigh the evidence, then always takes Israel’s side. I have not said that he is wrong to take Israel’s side, just that the “Let’s see, Arabs, israel, Arabs, Israel…. OK, this time I gotta go with Israel!” routine gets a little old. (As a matter of fact, I think he is sometimes insufficiently pro-Israel for my taste, but that is a logically unrelated point.)
I brought this issue up in the conext of discussing Jim Cramer’s and Herb Greenberg’s endless discussions of me. They run more or less like this (in paraphrase):
Jim: “Byrne might be a good guy!”
Herb: “No he’s a bad guy.”
Jim: “Are you sure? I thought he might be a good guy.”
Herb: “No he’s a bad guy.”
Jim: “OK, you win, he’s a bad guy.”
Over and over every time they discussed me. it reminded me of Friedman. That’s all.

Other people discussed: The General Counsel of Bloomberg, “the guys at Bloomberg”, reporter Matt Taibbi, everyone Byrne is suing, Chewbacca, Molly Bloom, James Joyce and Hannibal of Carthage.
** As opposed to the Motley Fool message boards, and the Overstock auction boards, and … hey, why isn’t he commenting here?