After all the corporate crimes I’ve seen in the last 13-or-so years, it takes a lot to surprise me. Really, it does.
But Patrick Byrne, the nutty CEO of Overstock.com has suprised me. Now, I’d like to think that my threshhold for surprise is pretty high with him. I mean, this is the guy who talks about Sith Lord conspiracies on official, recorded conference calls with Wall Street. So you pretty much have to expect stupid things out of him.
But this takes the cake, and all credit goes to investigative journalist Gary Weiss for finding this gem…
Overstock had its earnings conference call this morning. I spared myself the agony of listening to half-baked answers about all the accounting and inventory issues of the company. (I may go take a peek at the transcript, though. I can speed read and minimize the pain.)
During the conference call, Patrick Byrne posted a message on the Investor Village message board. Seriously. I said during.
Gary Weiss says he saw this on the message board at 11:43am Eastern time. While the conference call which began at 11:00am Eastern time was still ongoing. (Note that Hannibal is one of Patrick’s online aliases, and as we’ve seen so many times in the past, he did not identify himself as Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock… Regulation FD be damned!)
My advice to Patrick: Focus a little more on running your company, and you might actually turn a profit someday. I know. Chances are slim. But could you at least make it look like you’re trying?