EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1137 - October 26, 2005     3 of 6

Overstock Names John Byrne Chairman of the Board

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Overstock named John J. Byrne, a current director and vice chairman of, chairman of the Overstock board of directors. He replaces his son Patrick Byrne, who remains the company's president. In addition, Ray Groves, retired chairman and CEO of accounting firm Ernst & Young, and Jason Lindsey, former president and CFO of, have joined's board of directors.

Jack Byrne recently retired as chairman of White Mountain Insurance Group and Montpelier Re, and is a former chief executive officer of White Mountain Insurance Group, GEICO and Fireman's Fund. A legend in the insurance industry, Byrne brought GEICO back from the brink of the largest insolvency in the history of the insurance industry. Under Jack's leadership GEICO became the most profitable property and casualty company of his era. Jack Byrne served as an director from October 1999 until October 2002, and then rejoined the board in June 2004. He has also served on the boards of American Express, Martin Marietta, Lehman Brothers, MidOcean, Financial Security Assurance, Zurich Re, and the International Special Olympics.

"My father's business expertise and experience has served well over the years and will surely benefit the company going forward in his new role," said Patrick Byrne. "As I mentioned three months ago, I believe it is healthy to separate the chief executive and chairman duties. I can't think of a better person to act as my boss than my father: he has had a lifetime of practice."

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Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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