So it looks like those very bad earnings on Wednesday were the final straw for Groupon CEO and co-founder Andrew Mason, who said late Thursday that he had been fired by the tumbling deal site he saw rise, fall, and fall even harder. "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," he writes in a pretty awesome memo to Groupon's staff.
A company press release announcing the change was a little less direct: "Groupon the global leader in local commerce, today announced a leadership change in which Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have been appointed to the newly created Office of the Chief Executive, effective immediately, replacing Andrew Mason." However, it doesn't sound like those will be permanent positions, a source tells Bloomberg Businessweek's Doug MacMillan.
This has been a long time coming for Mason, who helped start Groupon in late 2008 but has often been at the center of criticism for the company's self-destruction — from the deal site's peak hype in 2010 into its unraveling as Groupon went public in the fall of 2011. Yesterday's earnings were just the most recent in a string of terrible financial news. Groupon only reported a profit once, ever. When Mason flirted with the idea of firing himself a few months ago, investors got all giddy. So, it's no surprise now that he is out — or that Groupon stock is trading up almost 8 percent in after-hours trading, as of this writing. You can see this spike in this screen grab from Bloomberg's Jared Keller:
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