Groupon kicked out chief executive and founder Andrew Mason. Executive… (Mark Lennihan / Associated…)
Groupon, the daily deals website with a severe case of crashing stock, fired its chief executive and founder Andrew Mason on Thursday and Wall Street rejoiced.
The company’s stock jumped after hours as investors learned that Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis were appointed on an interim basis to the new Office of the Chief Executive.
"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," Leonsis said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $81.1 million, or 12 cents a share, down 24% from the same period a year earlier.
Consolidated revenue, however, was up nearly 30% to $638.3 million. Groupon’s stock is currently trading at about a quarter of its listing price barely a year ago.
Mason seemed to have seen his ouster coming. Back in November, he said at a conference that “it would be weird” if Groupon’s board members didn’t consider whether he was the right guy for the job.
After being let go Thursday, Mason posted a public letter to Groupon employees, reasoning that “it will leak anyway.”
In the missive, he called his firing “a relief valve from the public noise” for the company, explaining that “the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves” and said that he was “accountable.”
“You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance,” he wrote. “I’m getting in the way of that.”
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