Groupon is replacing its CEO, company co-founder Andrew Mason, with two current executives amid increasing heat about the deal site's disappointing financial performance.
In a letter to employees, Mason said he was fired, with a playful and self-deprecating addition: "If you’re wondering why … you haven’t been paying attention."
"From controversial metrics in our (IPO statement) 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," Mason continued. "As CEO, I am accountable."
The board said it's searching for a permanent replacement. For now, Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have been appointed to the newly created Office of the Chief Executive.
The company said its earnings expectations for the first quarter and full year outlined on Wednesday remain unchanged.
Investors appear to applaud the executive change, driving shares up in after-hours trading after a brutal regular session in which the stock lost a quarter of its value. Shares had plummeted in continuing fallout from a weaker than expected earnings report and forecast on Wednesday. The stock jumped 8 percent after hours on the news and was at $4.65, up 2.6 percent, at 3:40 p.m.
Groupon, a once-red-hot company that started in 2008 by marketing discounts on local services such as spas and restaurants to millions of online subscribers, has lost about three-quarters of its value since its IPO. Mason came under fire for not finding a quick enough solution for its problems.
The company posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $81.1 million, or 12 cents a share, missing Wall Street's expectations for a profit. Revenue for the quarter was up 30 percent, in line with analysts' views.
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Author: Denis Taillefer News
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