Patrick Byrne is the founder and former CEO of Overstock.com, an e-commerce company that specializes in home goods and technology products. He served as the CEO of Overstock for two decades, from 1999 to 2019. Byrne attracted public attention for his legal battle against short sellers and "naked short selling”.
|Source of wealth:
|founder and former CEO of an online retailing company Overstock.com
|Dartmouth College (bachelor’s degree), King's College, Cambridge (master’s degree), Stanford University (Ph.D.)
EducationPatrick Byrne has a vast educational background, having acquired the following degrees:
- A certificate from Beijing Normal University;
- A Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese studies from Dartmouth College;
- A master's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from King's College, Cambridge. He enrolled there as a Marshall Scholar, which means that he received a special scholarship for demonstrating academic and leadership potential;
- A Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University.
- Byrne also worked as a teaching assistant at Stanford University between 1989 and 1991.
CareerBefore founding Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne worked as the CEO of Centricity, a company that specialized in providing analytical solutions to businesses. He also joined his father's insurance company Geico as an administrative assistant.
In 1999, he established an online discount retailer, Overstock.com, which initially focused on surplus and returned merchandise. Their business model was based on stockpiling thousands of products and selling them at discount rates to customers. This led to noticeable growth in revenue, and the company became a major player in the e-commerce industry. In 2013, Byrne began investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchains. Overstock became the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
In 2019, as a result of his affair with Russian agent Maria Butina, he was forced to resign his board seat and position as CEO of Overstock. However, Byrne himself claims that the decision was voluntary.