Overstock’s stock soars after controversial founder and CEO Patrick Byrne resigns, effective immediately

Shares of Overstock.com Inc.

OSTK, +6.92%

soared 15% in midday trading Thursday, after controversial Founder and Chief Executive Patrick Byrne resigned from discount e-commerce site Thursday, effectively immediately, saying he was “far to controversial” to serve as CEO. The resignation comes after Byrne said last week that he had assisted in the Clinton and Russian investigations, and was actually the notorious missing “Chapter 1” of the Russian investigation. He also said he was romantically involved with jailed Russian agent Maria Butina. In a letter to shareholders Thursday, Byrne said he was concerned that his going public about “certain government matters” may affect and complicate strategic discussions regarding the retail business. “Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday August 22,” Byrne wrote. The company named board member Jonathan Johnson as interim CEO. Byrne had launched Overstock.com in late 1999. The stock has run up 64.6% year to date, while the Amplify Online Retail ETF

IBUY, -0.46%

has climbed 23.5% and the S&P 500

SPX, -0.11%

has gained 16.5%.

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