Groupon just announced that CEO Andrew Mason will no longer remain CEO of the company, which he founded. The company reported massively disappointing financial results on Wednesday, and the board has finally had enough.
Groupon Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have been appointed to a newly created "Office of the Chief Executive," effective immediately. They will serve in this role until they find a replacement for Mason. The search has already commenced.
"On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history," said Lefkofsky.
"Groupon will continue to invest in growth, and we are confident that with our deep management team and market-leading position, the company is well positioned for the future," said Leonsis.
The company is careful to note that guidance outlined in its announcement on Wednesday remains unchanged.
Frankly, it was only a matter of time until the company ousted Mason. Rumors were already swirling late last year that it was about to happen. They managed to pretty much stifle the rumors until this week.
Mason tweeted out a message to Groupon employees:
The link in his tweet is having some issues for some. Here's the full text of the letter:
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. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.
For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.
If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!
I will miss you terribly.
Also, he tweeted this yesterday:
Three oranges in a meeting with four of us? No question - I give my oranges to the others. #leadership
image: Stanford Business (YouTube)