Report: Groupon Looking For An Eric Schmidt To Andrew Mason's Larry Page

Chris CrumBusiness

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Groupon stock has been on a rebound of late, thanks to an investment in the company by Tiger Global - the firm purchased a 9.9% stake in the company - but leadership at Groupon is currently in question, and there might be some changes on the horizon.

The generally reliable Kara Swisher at All Things D whose sources are also generally reliable, is hearing from "sources close to the situation" that "several board members of Groupon have been seriously discussing making major leadership changes...including bringing in a more experienced CEO to take over for co-founder Andrew Mason."

If that ends up happening, and Swisher says it's not likely to happen immediately, it sounds like that doesn't necessarily mean Mason will be completely out of the picture, but perhaps more taking a Larry Page-esque turn. One of her sources indicated that "Groupon needs an Eric Schmidt," which those familiar with the Google story know, came in to work with co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and take on the CEO role with more experience. He did so for years, before finally handing the reins back to Page in early 2011.

Earlier this month, Groupon released its Q3 financial results, and they weren't good. Though revenue was up 32% year-over-year, results fell short of Wall Street expectations, and the company posted a $3 million net loss.

Business Insider says, citing "an industry insider who has heard some scuttlebutt," that Mason has until the end of the first quarter of 2013 to "fix Groupon".

Groupon's story has been an interesting one. It spawned countless clones and even attracted a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, but since the IPO it has been struggle after struggle, and stock price has largely reflected that until this recent silver lining.

Could a change in executive leadership be what Groupon needs to become the darling it was always supposed be?

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.