It has emerged that Andrew Mason, the founder of Groupon and the guy that basically invented the daily deals space has been asked to leave by the Groupon board. This move came after Groupon saw its stock price dropping 24% after it came to public notice that the company had bad earnings this quarter. Groupon announced that Mason will be succeeded by Groupon’s present chairman, Eric Lefkofsky. Eric has been with Groupon since the start as a co-founder and investor.
After Groupon created the daily deals space in the US, the whole thing caught on like wildfire, the effects of which were felt around the world, especially here in India two years back when daily deals companies like Snapdeal, SoSasta, MyDala mushroomed. Although we have spoken earlier about the debacle of Groupon’s IPO and why we thought that the daily deals business was ultimately a very unsustainable one. Andrew has been the driving force behind Groupon’s expansion. Even if that was the case, Groupon did very badly after its IPO. Just after their IPO debut their valuation got halved to $13 billion and there was a lot of talk of the IPO and the company being overhyped. After the IPO, Groupon has been steadily underperforming. Mason was at the center of a lot of negativity surrounding Groupon. While he combated it for the longest time, the company has decided, perhaps wisely, that Groupon needed a change of leadership.
Andrew Mason posted this farewell note to all Groupon employees on his personal blog. I have to say that this was a really classy way to say goodbye.
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.
A change in Groupon’s leadership is definitely a fresh breath of life for the company and they have to work extra hard to make this work. This will be a big challenge.
We wish Andrew all the best in his future endeavors.
Story Source | The Verge
Image Source | wewillraakyou