Patrick M. Byrne (born November 29, 1962) is an American entrepreneur who was the CEO of Overstock.com. In 1999, Byrne launched Overstock.com after leading two smaller companies, including one owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. In 2002, Byrne took Overstock.com public. Since its initial public offering, Overstock.com has increased revenue to almost $1.8 billion, while achieving profitability in 2009.
In 2005, Byrne became known for his campaign against illegal naked short selling. Byrne and securities regulators maintained illegal naked shorting had been used in violation of securities law to distort prices of public companies’ stock. Under his direction, Overstock.com filed two lawsuits alleging improper acts by Wall Street firms, a hedge fund, and an independent research firm. In each case the defendants settled with Overstock.com out of court.
Byrne has advocated for blockchain technology, including cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. In January 2014, Overstock.com became the first major online retailer to accept bitcoin. Byrne took an indefinite leave of absence from Overstock.com in April 2016 because of Hepatitis C complications. Byrne returned in July 2016 as CEO after Hepatitis C recovery. He resigned in August 2019, following revelations that he had been in an intimate relationship with Maria Butina and comments he made promoting the Deep State conspiracy theory.