Voucher website Groupon has confirmed the departure of CEO Andrew Mason following disappointing results as the company suffered a further quarterly loss.
Mason, who set up the company in 2008, will be replaced on an interim basis by Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, who will operate under the newly created Office of the Chief Executive until a suitable replacement is found.
“On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon,” Leftofsky commented.
“As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history.”
Mason said of the company’s full year results: “Record billings growth this quarter is a clear signal that customers love Groupons”, though as news of his departure broke, he sent a letter to Groupon staff acknowledging his accountability and thanking them for their hard work.
“I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family,” BBC News reported Mason as saying in a group memo.
“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.
“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.”
As the search for a new CEO gets underway, the Board remains positive about the company’s future.
Leonsis concluded: “Groupon will continue to invest in growth, and we are confident that with our deep management team and market-leading position, the company is well positioned for the future.”