Andrew Mason, the CEO of Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) – the deeply troubled daily deals website – may get the boot in favor of a CEO with more experience.
According to AllThingsD’s sources, several members of the Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) board have been discussing a series of major changes at the leadership level of the Chicago-based company. One of the changes discussed includes bringing in a more experienced CEO to replace Mason, one of the three co-founders of Groupon.
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Groupon’s board will be attending a regularly scheduled meeting later on this week, where it is likely that they will be discussing management issues and the relatively-novice CEO’s performance so far.
If a decision to remove Mason is made, the move would take time and would likely be done with his agreement. Mason has the support of the eight-member board, although a rift between Groupon’s key players has been visible in recent months. Eric Leftofsky, Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) Executive Chairman and co-founder, along with Brad Keywell – another of the co-founders – have been urging Mason to take a more aggressive as well as public approach to the company’s turnaround efforts.
As Groupon’s stock has dropped, discussions over a reshuffle of Groupon’s leadership have increased. Recently, former Amazon executive Kal Raman was promoted to COO in order to provide Mason with greater support with many operational aspects of the company.
A person familiar with the situation at Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) said: “The question is not whether Andrew is a good guy, but whether Groupon needs an Eric Schmidt (executive chairman),” and added that: “there’s been a lot more pressure now on the board to consider this seriously.”
Groupon went public in November 2011, as the largest US web company IPO since Google. Since then Groupon’s shares have collapsed, are down approximately 85% since the IPO.
There was some recent good news for Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), though, when investment firm Tiger Global Management, a hedge-fund, purchased close to 10 percent of Groupon. As a result, Groupon’s shares jumped 24 percent in the past week, up to $3.88 with a $2.5 billion valuation.