Tech

Groupon CEO Job Expires Effective Immediately

By James Geddes , Mar 01, 2013 10:59 AM EST

Groupon has been struggling the last couple of quarters and its shareholders have not been happy. Groupon was once the favorite "deal site" to go to on the Internet but, like many online trends, its popularity began to wane. The company has been losing money with each passing quarter and that was enough for its board members to fire CEO, Andrew Mason.

Groupon was founded in 2008 and offers users daily deals depending on their location. It is currently available in 44 countries. The company became an overnight sensation in the tech world because it offered a new online business model of selling online coupons to local businesses.

Groupon partners with local businesses to sell discounted products and services usually with a substantial savings to its members. Customers must purchase a product or service before using it, when it is offered by Groupon, which makes it appealing to businesses that need cash. Other businesses — restaurants for example — also offer it to promote their cuisine in the hopes that diners will return, but many businesses find that customers only return with another Groupon or they move on to the next spot that's offering a meal deal. The competition has gotten fierce recently, with other competing sites like livingsocial and Gilt Groupe offering similar deals and competing for both participants and customers.

Groupon has tried to diversify by expanding the terms upon which it offers its discounts. Initially deals were offered for a day or two and then became unavailable once expired. Groupon created a separate area called Groupon Now, which allowed members to purchase a range of deals for immediate use, many of which are offered continuously and can be purchased anytime. Groupon Now was recently discontinued as a separate area and all Groupons are now being offered in this manner.

At Groupon's height and under Groupon's now-ousted CEO Andrew Mason, the company was offered a $6 billion buyout deal from Google, which the company turned down. Groupon went public in 2011 and briefly became the darling of Wall Street with an Internet IPO valuation second only to that of Google. The company is now worth half of what Google offered it and after its latest earnings report, the board decided that CEO Andrew Mason's job would expire. Groupon issued a statement and announced "a leadership change in which Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have been appointed to the newly created Office of the Chief Executive, effective immediately, replacing Andrew Mason."

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