Groupon CEO muses about firing himself after 80 per cent drop in stock

Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason may not be CEO for much longer after board members meet Thursday.

The one-time superstar of the online deals company has fallen from grace after he turned down a reported $6-billion offer from Google to buy the company and, instead, took Groupon public in Nov. 2011. The stock that traded as high as $28 a share on its first day of trading was at just $2.60 per share near the end of November, an 80 per cent drop.

Of course board members are questioning his leadership, Mason said Wednesday: “It would be weird if the board wasn’t discussing if I were the right guy for the job,” he said.

Mason made the candid comments at Business Insider’s Ignition conference in New York City.

“It would be more noteworthy if the board wasn’t discussing whether I’m the right guy for the job,” Mason said, reports the LA Times. “If I ever thought I wasn’t the right person for the job, I’d be the first person to fire myself.”

It looks like the musing somehow assured investors. By close Wednesday, Groupon stock had shot up to $4.42 per share. It’s still well off its all-time high of $28, but it was a 12 per cent gain.

Groupon’s current woes can be partially attributed to its rapid expansion into European markets during a recession “and concerns also abound about its forays into bigger-ticket deals, on items like vacations, and how the company reserves money to cover refunds on unused deals,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

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