Andrew Mason earned a reputation for wise-cracking when he was CEO of the one-time phenom that was the daily-deal start-up Groupon. He stayed true to form when he was forced out of the struggling online company on Thursday.
“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,” Mason wrote in a post on his personal blog, after explaining that the missive was intended for Groupon employees, “but I’m posting it publicly since it will leak anyway.”
The post quickly caught fire on Twitter, so much that, for a time on Thursday afternoon, a surge of traffic made it difficult to load the webpage containing Mason’s farewell letter
“If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention,” Mason continued with disarming frankness. “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.”
Groupon’s stock has floundered for months. It fell 24 percent on Thursday after the company issued a desultory earnings report the day before, but shares surged in late trading after Mason’s departure was announced.