Groupon CEO gets fired, cracks me up, wins heart

There’s already been a lot of buzz about Groupon CEO Andrew Mason being asked to step down (Crain’s taunted the CEO position was Groupon’s ‘toughest sell yet’). No doubt it’s a bummer now that it’s official, but he’s got to be relieved that it’s over.


Washington Post did an article his post-firing memo to employees yesterday, and made me an offical Andrew Mason fan (obvi I don’t own any Groupon stock).  It was pretty good so keep reading – I’ve bolded my favorite parts.

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.



More on my fave parts:

  • “I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.”  Time with the family, classic! For anyone who hasn’t read Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, see paragraph 5.  Or I mean, just read the entire article cause it’s awesome.
  • “The events of the past year and a half speak for themselves.”  Oh boy, do they!  I have a friend at Groupon who has to go to work every day thinking, ‘maybe this is the day I’ll get fired’.  Things have been rocky.  Side note, she’s a great employee and I hope she doesn’t get fired… but mostly I’m just jealous of her chance at collecting unemployment.  Isn’t weeks in sweatpants crafting a coffee table made out of paint sticks and buttons to look like something from Pottery Barn the ultimate dream?

Studio DIY, you’ve got a way with popsicle sticks.

  • “For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be”.  OK, If I worked at Groupon I’d be all, Concerned about you? Bitch what about me? I haven’t been making CEO money and I sure as shit don’t have an emergency fund.
  • “FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion”. Preach it brother, preach it.  And let me know where you end up, I’ll pin it to my “Dream Vacations” board.
  • “Love, Andrew” – This part concerned me.  Andrew, you shouldn’t give your heart so easily to employees who are probably trying to maximize the amount of time each day they can get paid to take a dump.  Ya know…cause a lot of Groupon employees are paid hourly. Make that a triple grande latte! (poop jokes, rad.)

The Washington Post article applauds his honesty, and I think they’re right.  He was endearingly honest, so much so that he even gave his insecurities a shout-out with his fat camp reference.  So today, Andrew Mason, you are my hero.  Now it’s time to buy some popsicles and get crackin.


Sweet and Twenty

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