Groupon Fires Founder, CEO Mason


Embattled daily deal company Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) on Thursday fired its founder and chief executive Andrew Mason.

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The company said in a statement that executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis have been appointed to replace Mason temporarily while the company conducts a search for a new CEO.

Groupon said the company’s board has already begun the search.

“On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history," said Lefkofsky in the statement.

"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," said Leonsis.

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The company said its guidance for first quarter and full year 2013 as outlined in Wednesday's earnings announcement remains unchanged.

Groupon’s stock has fallen about 75% since the company first went public in November 2011. The stock was sold at an IPO price of $20 but closed Thursday at $4.53. The stock was up about 7% in after-hours trading.

Questions have arisen about the company’s financial record-keeping practices, its business model and strategy for future growth. Mason’s leadership came under fire as the stock plummeted.

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