Almost exactly one year ago, Groupon announced that former Yahoo exec Rob Solomon had joined the organization and assumed the dual positions of president and chief operating officer. Now, as Groupon appears to be ramping up for an IPO, word's come that Solomon is leaving.
This sudden change may startle some folks. The latest news items about Groupon have all been success stories, ranging from stuff about revenue goals in excess of $1 billion to launching new sites in China and the United Arab Emirates. There aren't any obvious business-related reasons an exec would give up his roles the company.
No one needs to start theorizing about behind-the-scenes problems, though, as there do appear to be a couple of more personal motives. First, according to an internal memo Kara Swisher reprinted, Solomon intends to move his family back to California (from Groupon's home of Chicago).
Then the second reason just has to do with Solomon's interests. He told Bloomberg, "I'm not the guy who wants to run a 10,000 person company. I'm much better at the startup and growth stage."
So Groupon and Solomon remain on good terms, with Groupon CEO Andrew Mason indicating that Solomon will continue to act as an advisor. Solomon is supposed to help the company's next COO (whoever that may be) get comfortable, as well.
We don't imagine Groupon will have much trouble attracting talented applicants, given that the latest round of rumors put the value of its theoretical IPO in the neighborhood of $25 billion.