Judd Bagley Goes Back on the Overstock.com Payroll
New developments today in the continuing saga of Overstock.com, my favorite corporate crime petri dish. Word has slithered out of Utah that the nauseating corporate shill Judd Bagley (left), CEO Patrick Byrne's personal dirty tricks specialist and manager of Byrne's Facebook stalking campaign, has been transferred from Byrne's "Deep Capture" blog back to the corporate payroll.
As usually happens when Overstock wants people not to notice something, there was no public word of Bagley's transfer to the corporate trough. Word of that emerged from Bagley's LinkedIn profile, which indicates that he became "manager of collaborative systems" at Overstock in September. That was noticed by one member of the army of Byrne fans that keep tabs on his nutty escapades.
Bagley originally was on the corporate payroll as a p.r. spokesman before he was transferred over to DC in 2008, and now he's back.
There has been no activity on Byrne's Deep Capture site since a Bagley post in July, except for an incoherent post by Byrne in October.
It's not clear why the plug was pulled in this fashion. Was it the ongoing SEC investigation? Intervention by Byrne's dad, who is now serving on the board? Or was Byrne just bored with the whole thing and moved on to another plaything? Hard to say.
Whatever the reason, I'm sure that the shareholders of Overstock can rejoice at the addition of a slug of lead weight added to the company's payroll, and of course, the rank-and-file employees of the company can celebrate that they're working hard while Byrne puts a lackey on the payroll. Not sure was a "collaborative system" is, but my guess would be that it has something to do about spying on loose-lipped employees.
Byrne's PR effort nowadays are desultory appearances on Fox Business News, and otherwise the "jihad" against the naked shorting bogeyman has gone down the tubes. Every official and unofficial study of the 2008 financial crisis has found his obsession was not a factor in the crisis, and most haven't even mentioned it.
Interestingly, Utah corporate records show that Bagley remains "manager" and "registered agent" of Deep Capture LLC, with Byrne toady Evren Karpak still listed as "manager." It's not known if this means anything, or if it's just another sign of Overstock's casual attitude toward telling the government stuff.
The fate of Mark Mitchell, the fired former Columbia Journalism Review editor and Byrne's chief conspiracy theoretician, is unknown.
The biggest mystery of Byrne's corporate p.r. site remains unsolved: why did it take three people to manage a website that publishes rarely and serves mainly to salve the limitless ego of a bored CEO?
© 2010 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.