Patrick Byrne Returns to Lead


After taking a leave of absence in February to address what the company characterizes as "cardiac issues thought to be associated with cancer treatments received much earlier in life," Patrick Byrne has now returned to the helm of , the company he founded, and resumed his duties as CEO, the company announced today.

In his absence, company president Jonathan Johnson had taken over as acting CEO, during which time he was nominated to stand for election to the board of directors at the company's annual stockholders' meeting in May. The company's proxy materials note that if elected, the board intends to appoint Johnson as executive vice chairman of the board.

Byrne said, "It was good to get away, take some time off, and attend to some things that needed looking after, but it's great to be back, and I look forward to serving our shareholders once more. I wish to extend my gratitude to Jonathan, who has done a fine job in my absence, and in my view is ready to start providing direction at a board level, while retaining executive responsibilities for a large section of the company."

The stock of the online discounter has been virtually unchanged since the announcement was made, closing Friday at $12.76, down just $0.03 since the Feb. 12 disclosure that Byrne would be taking a leave of absence. However it ranged from an intraday low of $10.80 to an intraday high of $12.99 during that time.

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