In its short but eventful existence, Beyond (formerly Overstock.com) has attracted the attention of JAT Capital, a large investor who has taken on the role of an activist investor, despite denying it. JAT Capital intensified its pressure on Monday by demanding access to Beyond's books and records. This move comes after the retailer's board displayed resistance towards answering questions regarding its ongoing CEO search and its failure to give Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World Holdings, a more significant role at the company.
The Letter from JAT Capital
Recently, JAT Capital sent an eye-opening five-page letter to Beyond's board, expressing their dissatisfaction with the board's "poor behavior." Remarkably, JAT owns a 9.6% stake in Beyond yet maintains that it is not an activist fund. John Thaler, JAT's chief investment officer, stated that their requests for basic operational information have been consistently declined by the company, leading them to take this path.
Beyond's Rebranding Effort
Beyond is the result of a rebranding effort by Overstock. By acquiring the intellectual property of bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond and changing its name, Overstock completed the revamp earlier this month. The departure of CEO Jonathan Johnson, a veteran at Overstock for 21 years, and his resignation from the board caused the number of board seats to decrease from nine to eight. This decision raised concerns and dissatisfaction from JAT Capital.