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Struggling Groupon ousts CEO Andrew Mason

February 28, 2013 • Business


FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2009 file photo, Andrew Mason, the CEO of Groupon, poses for a photo in Chicago. The struggling online deals company said Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, after the market closed that it ousted Mason as CEO and will look for a new chief. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Greenm, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Struggling online deals pioneer Groupon has fired its quirky founder and CEO, Andrew Mason, amid worries that people are tiring of the restaurant, spa and Botox deals that Groupon built its business on.

In a refreshingly candid memo to staff, Mason admitted he “failed at this part of the journey” and said Groupon’s employees “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.”

Groupon Inc.’s stock jumped more than 4 percent in extended trading following Thursday’s announcement, which had been anticipated for months. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis were appointed to the Office of the Chief Executive while a replacement is found.

Mason, known for an eccentric character that didn’t fit the mold of a buttoned-down CEO, made no qualms about what had happened.

“I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today,” wrote Mason, 32. “If you’re wondering why. you haven’t been paying attention.”

He referred to controversy over its accounting practices, “two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price.” The stock fell another 24 percent Thursday before the announcement and closed at $4.53, 77 percent below the $20 it started trading at when Groupon went public in November 2011.

“The events of the last year and a half speak for themselves,” he wrote. “As CEO, I am accountable.”

Mason, a Northwestern University graduate and former punk Login to read more

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