Patrick Michael Byrne is chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, Inc., a Utah-based Internet retailer that has been publicly traded since 2002. Under Patrick’s leadership the company’s annual revenue has grown from $1.8 million in 1999 to over $800 million in 2008.
Patrick received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Asian studies from Dartmouth College, a master’s in philosophy from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and a doctorate in philosophy from Stanford University. He has taught at the university level and frequently guest-lectures on business, the Internet, leadership, and ethics.
Before founding Overstock.com, Patrick served as chairman, president and CEO of Centricut, LLC, a manufacturer of industrial torch consumables, then held the same three positions at Fechheimer Brothers, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company that manufactures police, firefighter, and military uniforms.
In 2001, Patrick began Worldstock.com, Overstock.com’s socially responsible store for products handcrafted by artisans from developing nations and rural areas of the USA. To date, more than $30 million has been returned to Worldstock’s artisan suppliers.
A self described "classical liberal,” Patrick believes that our nation’s future depends primarily on a sound educational system and a healthy capital market. Towards those ends, Patrick serves with Rose Friedman as co-chair of the Milton & Rose 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.
In 2005, Patrick began a vigorous campaign against corruption in our capital markets through securities manipulation. His stance quickly caught the attention of Wall Street analysts and reporters and remains a point of high controversy today.
Patrick has a black belt in tae kwon do and once pursued a career in boxing. After surviving cancer, he cycled across the country four times. His last ride, in the summer of 2000, helped raise awareness and record-breaking funds for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.