Fired Groupon CEO Pens Colorful Farewell Note

BrianAdamsPR
Brian Adams US Communications Director, WildAid

Posted on March 2nd 2013

Fired Groupon CEO Pens Colorful Farewell Note

ImageFollowing Groupon’s most recent earnings report, the company’s CEO announced that he was fired. Andrew Mason, the founder of the once booming startup, has overseen a declining stock price and disappointing earnings that ultimately required his departure.

On his way out Mason penned this unique note to Groupon’s employees, sharing it as well via his Twitter account:

(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve 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. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and 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.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.

Love,
Andrew

image: Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock.com

 

BrianAdamsPR

Brian Adams

US Communications Director, WildAid

Brian Adams (@brianadamspr) is the US Communications Director @WildAid. He also consults with nonprofits, including Komera Project and Samahope, regarding communications strategy. Brian was previously Senior Director of Communications at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the head of Media and Community Relations for the MSPCA-Angell. A version of this story first appeared on the author's blog.

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Comments

stevesilkwood
Posted on March 1st 2013 at 6:30PM

That's class.

MeredithGould
Posted on March 1st 2013 at 6:58PM

I've already posted this fabulous resignation letter to my Twitterstream and am watching it get RT'd. I think it's instructive on many levels, not the least of which being a great example of what we can (hopefully) expect to see more of from GenXers and Millennials. So much more illuminating than the standard nonsense that he spoofs in his opening sentence, "I've decided to spend more time with my family."

Kent Ong
Posted on March 4th 2013 at 5:45PM

Hi Brian, believe me, Groupon (or group buying) will not last for long time, because it doesn't create value to market.