Groupon Inc. ousted Andrew Mason as chief executive officer a day after reporting results that disappointed investors and underscored his failure to cope with diminished demand for daily coupons, the company’s main product.
Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will oversee the company as it seeks a successor, Chicago-based Groupon said in a statement. The decision to remove Mason, 32, came at a board meeting Feb. 28, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The directors intend to hire an outside firm to conduct the search for a permanent CEO, and don’t plan to consider existing board members, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
“I was fired today,” Mason wrote in a public letter that reflected his characteristic sense of humor. “If you’re wondering why, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Mason had been striving to expand Groupon into the broader e-commerce market by focusing on sales of products. He was working to boost growth as demand for online discounts faded and pressure from investors and his board mounted. Groupon directors discussed ousting him in November, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
As part of Groupon's strategy to diversify, the company last year introduced a card reader that attaches to smartphones. Groupon also purchased FeeFighters, a comparison-shopping website for credit card processing.