I have now been part of two or three dotcom booms, and Groupon has been a darling of the most recent—a genuine cultural phenomena. That being said, things haven’t been going well for the company as of late, and the CEO, Andrew Mason, has resigned.
My friend John said to me, “His resignation letter is awesome in it’s refreshing candor and lessons learned.” You can read the entire letter here, and I’ve excerpted my favorite parts below.
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.
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!