Jonathan E. Johnson

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Jonathan E. Johnson
Alma materBrigham Young University,
Board member

Jonathan "JJ" Johnson (born Jonathan Edward Johnson III) is an American business executive, currently serving as the CEO[1][2] for He was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2016 Utah gubernatorial election.[3]

Personal life and education[edit]

Johnson was born in Los Angeles, California to Jonathan E. Johnson II and Clare Hardy Johnson, the oldest of their eight sons. He received a Bachelor's degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University in 1990, followed by a Law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, also at Brigham Young University, in 1993.[4]

Johnson has been married to his wife, Courtney Johnson, for 27 years and together they have five sons. His oldest is named Jonathan Johnson IV.[4][5]


Following his graduation, Johnson worked as a clerk for Utah Supreme Court Justice Leonard H. Russon.[6]

In 1999, Johnson moved back to Utah to work for the publicly traded software company TenFold Corporation, lasting there until 2002 when he was hired by to be general counsel.[7] He served as the chairman of the board at Overstock until 2019.[8][9][10] Upon the departure of Patrick Byrne on August 22, 2019 Johnson became the interim CEO of the company.[11] One month later on September 23, 2019 Johnson was appointed CEO of[2]

2016 Campaign for Utah Governor[edit]

Johnson, a Republican, formally announced his candidacy for governor on August 15, 2015 at the Republican state GOP convention[12] Jonathan Johnson defeated his opponent in the Utah State Republican Convention, by 11 percentage points, forcing the incumbent, Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, into a primary election, which was held June 28, 2016.[13]

On April 18, 2016, Johnson announced his selection of Robyn Bagley as his running mate.[14] Bagley is the founder of a charter school, and was a leader on the losing side in the voucher battle in 2007.[15]

Johnson was defeated in the primary. Governor Gary Herbert is the Republican nominee for Utah governor in the 2016 general election.[16]


Johnson and his running mate, Robyn Bagley, focused on education during their announcement to run together for governor and lieutenant governor, and expressed their intention to put education decisions into the hands of private companies. Both running mates voiced support for vouchers that would allow public funding to go to private schools.[15][17]

Public Land[edit]

Approximately 64% of all of the land in Utah is owned by the federal government. Jonathan Johnson plans to sue the federal government for Utah to gain more control over these public lands.[18]



  1. ^ "Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns after 'deep state' controversy". Los Angeles Times. 2019-08-22. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  2. ^ a b "Overstock Appoints Jonathan Johnson as CEO and Robert Hughes as Acting CFO". Inc. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  3. ^ "Jonathan Johnson: Idea Guy is Considering 2016 Run for Governor", by LaVarr Webb,, June 20, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Happening Upon Success", by Jamie Cline, LDSLiving, February 19, 2011.
  5. ^ " "Jonathan Johnson's Family on YouTube".
  6. ^ What is the history of Jonathan E Johnson and the latest information about Jonathan E Johnson? (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Jonathan E. Johnson III. (2015). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from Archived 2015-09-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Jonathan E. Johnson III", The Wall Street Transcript, March 23, 2009.
  9. ^ to Acquire SpeedRoute Technologies and Related Businesses. (2014, January 29). Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Neely, K. (2015, June 3). Overstock exec shares principles of successful businesses with AF Chamber. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  11. ^ Metz, Cade; Creswell, Julie (2019-08-22). "Patrick Byrne, Overstock C.E.O., Resigns After Disclosing Romance With Russian Agent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  12. ^ Roche, L. (2015, August 15). Gov. Herbert gets a challenger as GOP looks to 2016. Deseret News. Retrieved from
  13. ^ "Gov. Gary Herbert forced into primary election with Jonathan Johnson".
  14. ^ "Three Utah gubernatorial candidates announce running mates," Deseret News, April 18. 2016
  15. ^ a b "Fight over 'Education Savings Accounts' brewing," Rod Decker, KUTV News, May 8, 2016
  16. ^ "ELECTION RESULTS: Herbert wins GOP primary," Fox 13 News, June 29, 2016
  17. ^ "Deseret News: Johnson/Bagley promise to put parents in charge of their children's education".
  18. ^ ""KUTV 2 News: "Johnson: Stop Talking and Take Feds to Court"".