Friday 1 March 2013

GroupOn have a hard time: CEO outed, but leaves entertaining departure letter!

   Now we know GroupOn aren't really a tech company, but because they have an online site and most of their revenue is from the internet that's a good enough link for us to cover it. The main reason we've chosen to do so is because GroupOn's CEO, Andrew Mason, has been fired today after another poor quarterly earnings report. 

   GroupOn has been on a bit of downward spiral lately and this has come after Mason chose to reject a $6 billion buyout offer from Google. Interestingly, Wired said that GroupOn "is worth less than half of what Google offered, and less than a quarter of its value following its 2011 stock market debut -- at the time the biggest internet IPO since Google's in 2004".

   Mason's departing words to his ex-colleagues were relatively entertaining too, especially the first paragraph. His full statement to GroupOn employees read:

"People of Groupon,

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.



   It's never nice to see someone lose their job, but fingers crossed for a turn around at GroupOn, because everyone loves a bargain!
Via Wired.


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