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Firing Andrew Mason Won’t Save Groupon

Andrew Mason, ex-CEO of Groupon, at the 2012 Mobile Loco conference in San Francisco
Andrew Mason, ex-CEO of Groupon, at the 2012 Mobile Loco conference in San Francisco Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

As soon as word got out that Groupon had fired founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason, shares in the company spiked. Investors apparently agree with Mason’s assessment that he was the problem, or, as he wrote in his public and unusually confessional goodbye note to employees: “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.”

In fact, Mason almost marvels that he was allowed to stick around so long. As he wrote: “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.”