Overstock.com Names Presidents for its Blockchain and Retail Units

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Overstock.com has announced changes in senior leadership following the return of company founder and CEO, Patrick M. Byrne, from a medical leave of absence.

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Jonathan Johnson, Overstock.com’s chairman of the board, was named president of Medici, Overstock.com’s group of Blockchain technology and fintech businesses. Byrne said that under Johnson’s leadership, Medici’s initiatives, including t0.com, and investments in Bitt.com, PeerNova and IdentityMind, will continue to grow and innovate while differentiating themselves in a competitive and fast-growing marketplace. Johnson will remain in his position as chairman.

“Along with its online shopping business, Overstock is an incubator of financial technology,” continued Byrne. “Jonathan shares my pro-freedom instincts, and therefore also shares my excitement about the Blockchain revolution’s potential to reduce society’s dependency upon certain rent-seeking and capture-prone centralized institutions. I’m thrilled he will be leading Medici as we pioneer the application of the Blockchain to financial systems.”

Saum Noursalehi, who has been with Overstock.com since 2005, was named president of Overstock.com’s retail business. Noursalehi currently serves as the company’s chief revenue officer. He has previously been senior vice president of product development and marketing, and directed website, mobile and search engine optimization and software development.

“I am incredibly pleased that Saum has accepted this opportunity,” said Byrne. “Saum has knocked the cover off the ball many times over the years, and I know he will here as well.” 

 

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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