Overstock CEO justifies stock sale, vows never to give 'an explanation again'

(Reuters) - Inc Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne lashed out on Friday at investors who questioned his recent sale of shares, saying he had to supplement his $100,000 a year salary and vowing never to “give such an explanation again.”

His letter to shareholders here followed a 21% slump on Wednesday and Thursday in Overstock's stock price to the lowest since 2012 after he divulged here the sale of 500,000 shares earlier in the week.

I owe shareholders staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information, not explanations of my life and projects outside Overstock,” Byrne said.

Byrne for over a decade has publicly battled short sellers targeting his company as it competes against larger rivals, including and eBay.

“Frankly, I had no idea that shareholders would demand explanations of why and how I might want to use my cash derived from my labor and my property to pursue my ends in life,” Byrne wrote, italicizing the word “my” each time.

The company’s largest shareholder, Byrne said he told investors a year ago that he would make “significant sales” of his shares to fund different projects, including blockchain investments.

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