Overstock.com Names Simon President, Announces Executive Changes

Overstock.com, Inc. has appointed Stormy Simon president in a move that signaled additional executive changes. She was co-president and will continue in her other role as a board member.

Jonathan Johnson will shift positions from executive vice chairman to chairman of the board of directors, replacing Patrick Byrne in that role. Byrne will continue as CEO. Overstock.com has named Mark Griffin, senior vp and general counsel, corporate secretary, a position Johnson previously held. David Nielsen will continue in his role of co-president with expanded responsibilities.

“For 12 years Stormy has been our secret weapon,” Byrne said in announcing the executive changes. “Her ideas and her leadership have been crucial to Overstock’s success. Stormy walked in off the street for a temp job, but within a few months was building our early B2B business, then dreamed up, wrote and produced our famous “Have You Discovered the Secret of the Big O?” commercials and the vast majority of our ads since then. She ran all of marketing through some of our periods of greatest growth, left that to take over Customer Care, then quickly built it into what some regard as the best such organization in the world, stood up a similar organization called Partner Care that faces up the supply chain, and for the last year has taken over Supply Chain, Warehouse, International and Overstock’s HR function, which we call People Care.”

As for relinquishing the role of chairman, Byrne stated, “I have long maintained that simply as a matter of good institutional design, the roles of chairman and CEO should be split. For that reason my father held the position for years, as much as his health and other duties permitted. It has been back in my hands for some years, but for the completion of many of the duties of chairman I have come to rely more and more on Jonathan Johnson, another long-termer at the company who has made enormous contributions in the areas of finance, legal and government affairs, and who has also had, at one time or another, nearly every piece of the company reporting to him. He understands the complexities within the firm and the legal environment in which we operate, and has the respect of the board. Now is the right time for Jonathan to assume the position of chairman, for which he has been in preparation for so long.”