(Reuters) – Overstock.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne, lashing out at the general research question are the sale of a large block of stock this week, that the shares of the company in a nose dive, said on Friday he had to complement his “nominal wages” and swore never again “such a statement again.”
Overstock.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne. Thanks Overstock.com/via REUTERS
In an extraordinary and biting letter to the shareholders here, Byrne said that he sold more than 400,000 shares in the online retailer and the blockchain technology incubator was announced earlier this week. Wednesday effects of filing here shows he had sold 500,000 shares on Monday and Tuesday. That sent Stock shares plunging more than 20% over two days, closing on Thursday at its lowest level since October 2012.
In all, he has sold 900,000 “founders shares” of more than 15% of its stake in the company. The stock after an initial rally on Friday morning, was 1% higher at $10.21 in the near of the afternoon.
In a letter to investors as “Best people,” Byrne said he was surprised by the “unexpected stir” caused by his stock sales.
“To be honest, I had no idea that the shareholders would demand an explanation of why and how I want my money derived from my labor and my property, to pursue my ends in life,” Byrne wrote, italicizing the word “my”.
“Not one time have I ever asked a shareholder for his justification in the decision that he made. But given the consternation this has caused, I give an answer, to exclude from further repetition of the mass of vapors.”
Byrne, the company’s largest shareholder, said he told investors a year ago that he would be “significant sale of the shares of fund for various projects, including the blockchain investments. He previously sold about 775,000 shares in transactions in September last year.
“I simply had to supplement my nominal salary with sales in order to fulfill personal commitments to invest personally in blockchain projects such as the Medici Country Governance, together with a need to meet charitable commitments, such as those described above,” Byrne wrote.
“I’m not going to ever make such a statement again. I thank the shareholders stay within the law and not make decisions on the basis of inside information, not the explanation of my life and projects outside of Overstock,” said Byrne.
He ended the letter with the valediction: “Your humble servant, Patrick M. Byrne.”
According to the company’s annual proxy, Byrne for many years, has denied any bonus and has asked that his total compensation is not more than approximately $ 100,000 per year. In 2018, his base salary was $ 96,779 and with holiday pay and other adjustments” is paid a total of $104,231 for the year.
Byrne has committed to approximately 1.9 million of its 5.8 million shares that he owned prior to this week’s sale as collateral for credit from banks, according to the annual report of the company.
Stock shares have decreased approximately 89% from the record high in January 2018, when the company will benefit from its plan to launch a digital token of the hype around cryptocurrencies.
Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Writing by Dan Burns and Noel Randewich; Editing by Mark Kuber and Nick Zieminski