updated 04:54 pm EST, Thu February 28, 2013
Office of CEO founded by Chairman, Vice Chairman of board
After speculation starting nearly as soon as he was selected for the position, Andrew Mason has been ousted as CEO of group discount site Groupon by the company's board of directors. The last straw was likely the poor quarterly earnings posted yesterday for the critical holiday quarter. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have created an Office of the Chief Executive until the hunt for a new candidate is complete.
In the tongue-in-cheek email announcing his departure, Mason said that he "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," likely referring to the financial results under his leadership and a dramatic fall in the stock price since the initial offering. He has no comment on where he's headed, and says he's taking some time off to "decompress."
Also, he sees the company as being able to stay the course and recover from the financial hole it is in currently. He said in the email that "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."