Although 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]