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Groupon Inc.'s stock plunged 26% after the daily-deals site capped a turbulent first year as a public company with a wider quarterly loss and a forecast for weak growth. Groupon Reports Net Loss of $81.1 Million For Q4, With Revenue Up 30pct [online.wsj.com]
Chicago-based Groupon has turned a profit just once since going public and is struggling to rev up sales. It posted a net loss of $81.1 million for the fourth quarter, wider than its year-earlier loss of $65.4 million. Revenue rose 30% to $638.3 million, in line with the company's forecast but below Wall Street expectations.
The worse-than-expected performance and a spate of other problems, including shrinking margins and declining cash flow, raise questions about the future of Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason, whom the company's board discussed replacing last year, people familiar with the matter have said.
Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN), the global leader in local commerce, today 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. Lefkofsky and Leonsis will serve in this role on an interim basis. The Board has commenced a search for a new Chief Executive.
"On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history," said Lefkofsky.
"Groupon will continue to invest in growth, and we are confident that with our deep management team and market-leading position, the company is well positioned for the future," said Leonsis.
The company's guidance for first quarter and full year 2013 outlined in yesterday's earnings announcement remains unchanged. Groupon Announces Leadership Change [investor.groupon.com]
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.
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.
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.