In such a partisan political climate, business leaders have to be more careful than ever about their public views. Boycotts have become a common tactic of voters on both sides of the aisle. Companies who advertise on Fox News shows have frequently dropped spots on shows hosted by Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.
One CEO who did not follow this line of advice is Patrick Byrne from Overstock.com. Last week Byrne went on a notable rant that included Hilary Clinton, The Department of Justice and Maria Butina. Today, the business leader announced that he will be stepping down from his Chief Executive Officer position.
In late July, a story broke that Byrne had engaged in a fling with accused Russian spy, Maria Butina. The saraacarter.com piece also revealed that the Overstock CEO had been speaking with the FBI.
On August 12th, in an Overstock press release, Byrne seemingly confirmed the Sara Carter story. He then told Fox Business, “I have all the answers. There is a deep state like a submarine lurking just beneath the waves of the periscope depth watching our shipping lanes. And a nuclear icebreaker called the USS Bill Barr has snuck up on them and is about to ram midship.”
Whatever the rationale behind the press release was, it had a devastating effect on Overstock. Within two days, the company’s stock price had dropped by 36%.
Now, almost two weeks later, Byrne has announced that he is leaving the company. He wrote, “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.”