Groupon stock rises day after CEO ouster

Online deals company Groupon ($GRPN)saw its stock rise at the opening bell today, after the retailer ousted CEO Andrew Mason late Thursday.

On Wednesday, the company announced net losses of $67.4 million, or 10 cents per share for fiscal year 2012. Mr. Mason, a Mt. Lebanon native who founded Groupon in 2008, penned a tongue-in-cheek memo to the Groupon staff where he took accountability for recent losses.

Mr. Mason admitted he "failed at this part of the journey" and said Groupon's employees "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."

Groupon Inc.'s stock jumped more than 4 percent in extended trading following Thursday's announcement, which had been anticipated for months. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis were appointed to the Office of the Chief Executive while a replacement is found.

Mr. Mason, known for an eccentric character that didn't fit the mold of a buttoned-down CEO, made no qualms about what had happened.

"I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding -- I was fired today," wrote Mason, 32. "If you're wondering why. you haven't been paying attention."

In a 2010 interivew with the Post-Gazette, Mr. Mason said he started off wanting to make music.

After graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1999, Mr. Mason enrolled at Northwestern University to study engineering. But even then, what he really wanted to do was make music. In high school, he was part of a garage band and in college did a brief tour of Chicago with his new band, Planet of the Planets, and called it quits.

A summer "dream internship" at Carnegie Mellon University bored him, and he returned to school to major in music technology with a piano proficiency. After his 2003 graduation from Northwestern, Mr. Mason eventually wound up working for Chicago's Electrical Audio. Steve Albini, owner of the recording studio, inspired the future CEO.

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First Published March 1, 2013 3:45 PM


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