Groupon's board has had enough of its colorful founder, Andrew Mason.
The company announced Thursday on its website that it has named executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis to replace Mason as CEO on an interim basis. Groupon is searching for new leadership.
The stock price dropped 28 percent today after a disappointing earnings report. "The company has been on a slide practically since the moment it went public, but this miss was the final nail in the coffin for its young co-founder and CEO," wrote The Verge's Ben Popper. Following Mason's departure, Groupon's stock rose 13 percent.
As The Verge noted, Groupon's stock price has declined 80 percent since it went public.
(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)
People of Groupon,
After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding -- I was fired today. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.
You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance.
What do you think? Will new leadership turn Groupon around? I have some ideas on this; I'll leave them in the comments below. Please do the same.
@Mitch, agreed. The CEO can have a good sense of humour, dress casually and have an interesting wit. But if he has the wrong focus and it isn't properly expressed in his meetings and with the public, confidence will wane.
I think Groupon's problem is mostly with the business model. I use Groupon from time to time. Mostly as reward items for the kids and family. The only problem I have with sites like Groupon, is that most of the offers are in the discretionary category and services that are not needs, but nice to haves.
Ah, well at least the Internet is a big place. There's always something to write about.
I suggested a Groupon deal once but the business owners I was speaking with had already talked to other businesses about failed deals. This was the first negative story I heard about Groupon - it was before my visit to the Thai restaurant.
Same here. I would choose a sale than having to buy a coupon any day. Also, if there's something not working with the Groupon model, I hardly think a change in leadership would amount to much. But that's just me.
The whole idea of getting local businesses to give away highly discounted service and products via coupons using Groupon just didn't make any sense.
Quite right, and the other part that doesn't make any sense is that there's no intellectual property in offering discount vouchers. Groupon has no special software and no fabulous, exclusive database of users, which would prevent competitors doing the same thing and beating it.
If Facebook and Google haven't seized the discount business, it's probably because it's not a very good business, as you say.
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