Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, has announced an indefinite leave of absence.
Byrne said he contracted Hepatitis C in 1984 in Xinjiang, China, “when a barefoot doctor sewed up a head wound under less-than-ideal conditions.” He says he finished treatment and thinks he can beat the disease, “but only time will tell.”
In his statement about his leave of absence, Byrne quoted the character Chief Dan George in the Clint Eastwood movie “Outlaw Josey Wales”: “I myself never surrendered. But they got my horse, and it surrendered.”
When he was 22 years old Byrne was diagnosed with testicular cancer which metastasized throughout his body. He was fought back against several recurrences and complications from his cancer diagnosis.
Despite his health complications Byrne has built Overstock.com into a profitable company that earned $1.7 billion in sales in 2015. The company is anticipating a $40 million profit in 2016.
On its website, Overstock describes Byrne as “a leading voice in a growing movement convinced that powerful interests on Wall Street are destroying American companies for profit — robbing investors and destabilizing our financial system in the process.”
Serving as CEO will be Mitch Edwards, former CEO of BitTorrent and Skullcandy.
“Mitch is an outstanding full-spectrum entrepreneur who has serving as our general counsel for six months and has learned our business, and understands our efforts to revolutionize the capital markets,” Byrne said.