Groupon fires its CEO

Andrew Mason is out after a terrible quarterly earnings report that showed losses were growing. The daily-deals company is now seeking a replacement.

By Kim Peterson Feb 28, 2013 5:51PM
File photo of Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason July 2011 (Anthony Bolante/Newscom/Reuters)Groupon (GRPN) has ousted Chief Executive Andrew Mason after a terrible quarterly earnings report that disappointed analysts and investors.

The move is hardly a surprise. My colleague Jonathan Berr reported earlier Thursday that the board was considering dropping Mason, one of Groupon's founders. The stock fell 24% Thursday to close at $4.53.

Groupon is now looking for a new CEO. Until one is found, co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonisis will act as co-CEOs, the company said in a statement.

Mason did not have any comment published in the news release announcing the change. But Lefkofsky thanked Mason on behalf of the board for his leadership, creativity and loyalty. "Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history," Lefkofsky said in the statement.

Groupon on Wednesday reported an $81 million loss in its latest quarter, far more than what Wall Street analysts were expecting. Revenue rose 29.7% to $638.3 million, just shy of the $640 million Wall Street wanted to see.

The AllThingsD site published an internal memo from Mason announcing his ouster. Mason approached the news with his signature sense of humor:

"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," he wrote. "Just kidding -- I was fired today. If you’re wondering why. . . you haven’t been paying attention.

Mason added that he was OK with having failed in his role. "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," he said, referring to the old video-game franchise. "I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you."

More on moneyNOW

Feb 28, 2013 6:20PM
Wow.....I can buy this stock for 25% less than it was worth yesterday!  Do I need a coupon for that?
Feb 28, 2013 6:40PM
Wow. That was quick...I just read an article a minute a go that they were CONSIDERING firing him.
Feb 28, 2013 8:27PM
I worked for 18 yrs. at jc penney ware house in manchester ,ct.  I watched penneys take away double time for holidays+sundays.They then took away time and a half after 8 hrs.Then they wonder why moral went down.we had to deal with managers who didnt care,supervisors who were inept or just plain stupid.The whole time i was there i felt like the entire management team was try ing to sink the entire company.(orders from above in jcpenney)!!!!!!
Feb 28, 2013 6:30PM
Let's hope JCP's board is next with the pink slip for their CEO.
Mar 1, 2013 10:03AM
He is co-founder, want to guess how many millions he has already squirreled away?  Also he has so many shares of stock he still has powerful say in how this company is run.  I say he is one smart dude.
Feb 28, 2013 10:11PM

well good, just read where they where doing good and future looked good so I bought a load of shares only to watch it fall like a rock, I say let him live under the bridge


Feb 28, 2013 8:32PM
I'd just like to see Groupon disappear.  Massage therapists aren't crazy about delivering a spa experience for less than half their regular compensation, especially to cheapskates who won't come back except on another bargain.
Feb 28, 2013 9:29PM
Yeah he was fired.  I imagine he had a golden parachute that left him penniless eye!!!  I bet he received his walking papers, 10 million in severance pay, medical benfits for the next 3-5 years for his whole family and all the Groupon stock options and rights he could carry.  Now lets talk about average American out here that goes, to work, receives an email  that they are fired for no reason at all like the law allows here in Texass and they receive nothing but some vacation pay due them and any accumulated days off and now the sequester is going to cut long term unemployment benefits while possibly putting another 150,000-200,000 in the unemployment offices in the next 30-60  days.  Yeah I'll cry all night about Mr. Andrew Mason tonight, I promise.........screw him!
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