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Patrick Byrne

United States
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Patrick Byrne is an American entrepreneur, e-commerce pioneer, CEO and Chairman of Patrick Byrne gained control of D2:Discounts Direct in 1999, which was then changed to its name Overstock. Patrick Byrne accelerated Overstock's fate by taking the company public in 2002. Since it's initial public offering, has since increased its revenue to over $1 billion a year, and in addition achieved full profitability in 2009.

Patrick Byrne is chairman and CEO of, Inc., a Utah-based internet retailer that has been publicly traded since 2002. Under Patrick Byrne’s leadership the company’s annual revenue has grown from $1.8 million in 1999 to over $800 million in 2009. In January 2010, the National Retail Federation ranked #2 in the U.S. for best customer service. In December of that same year, a Forbes-commissioned study found to be one of the top 10 best places to work in America. In addition, recently in April 2011, acquired naming rights to the former Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, renaming it Coliseum. After's re-branding in 2013, The Coliseum has since been renamed Coliseum.

Patrick Michael Byrne was born in 1962 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Coming from a long line of business men, Patrick Byrne's father John J. Byrne, is the former chairman of Berkshire Hathaway's GEICO insurance subsidiary and White Mountains Insurance Group. He holds a certificate from Beijing Normal University, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese studies from Dartmouth College, a Master's degree from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University.

From 1989 to 1991, Patrick Byrne taught several stand in lessons as a fellow at Stanford University. During this time he was also the Manager of Blackhawk Investment Co. and Elissa, Inc. Patrick Byrne then served as the Chairman, President & CEO of Centricut, LL, a manufacturer of industrial torches. Later Patrick Byrnes held the same three positions at Fechheimer Brothers, Inc also a Berkshire Hathaway company which manufactures police, firefighter, and military uniforms.

In 199, Patrick Byrne was approached by the founder of D2-Discounts Direct, asking for capital investment. The company had generated slightly more than $500,000 in revenue the previous year by liquidating excess inventory online, Patrick Byrne was intrigued by the idea of closeouts online, therefore ended up investing close to $7 million for a 60 percent equity stake in the company that spring. In September the same year he took over as CEO, and the following month the company was renamed Shortly after taking over the company, in May 2002, Patrick Byrne took the Salt Lake City company public at $13 per share, raising $28 million during the most difficult IPO market in years.

Patrick Byrne also engages in many interests outside of Patrick Byrne has a black belt in tae kwon do, and once pursued a career in professional boxing. He is a cancer survivor, and has ridden a bicycle across the country to raise awareness and money for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Patrick Byrne has also supported implementing school vouchers and other educational reforms. In fact, from 2003-2006 Patrick Byrne was the largest donor to political causes in Utah, one above his father who was ranked third largest political donor for those years.

Patrick Byrne's goal is to capitalize on the massive quantities of excess inventory that major retailers can't or won't put on their shelves. "The problem is how to sell the inventory without polluting the normal sales channel," Patrick Byrne says. "This is exactly what the Internet is for." To move the goods -- which Overstock buys and then resells -- Patrick Byrne competes for the same shoppers as and the sites of traditional retailers, such as Wal-Mart. The key to survival for Patrick Byrne's rising company is to stay relative; they will need staying power, along with a continually scalable concept.

A self-described “classical liberal,” Patrick believes that our nation’s future depends primarily on a healthy capital market and a sound educational system. Towards those ends, Patrick Byrnes serves as chairman of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, supporting legislative reform to bring educational choice to parents. Patrick has also founded 19 schools internationally that currently educate more than 6,000 combined students world-wide.

  • N/A to 01/1985
    : Dartmouth College
    : Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy & Asian Studies
    : United States
  • N/A to 01/1989
    : Cambridge Univeristy
    : Masters in Philosophy
    : United States
    : Cambridge, United Kingdom
    : as Marshall Scholar
  • N/A to 01/1994
    : Stanford University
    : Ph.D in Philosophy
    : United States
    : Stanford, California
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