Overstock CEO resigns after 'Deep State' comments roil stock

The CEO of Overstock.com has resigned, saying he'd become "far too controversial" to helm the e-commerce company

SAN FRANCISCO -- The CEO of Overstock.com has resigned, saying he'd become "far too controversial" to helm the e-commerce company known for selling discounted sofas and jewelry.

Overstock.com's shares fell 36% in the two days after the statement was made public.

Byrne, who founded the online discount retailer 20 years ago, said Thursday that he was "in the sad position" of having to step down.

"Though patriotic Americans are writing me in support, my presence may affect and complicate all manner of business relationships, from insurability to strategic discussions regarding our retail business," he said.

Overstock.com based in Midvale, Utah, named company veteran and board member Jonathan E. Johnson III as interim CEO.

The company's shares jumped $1.62, or 8.3%, to close Thursday at $21.12.