It feels like two ice ages ago when Andrew Mason was fired in February by Groupon, the company he helped create and make so dang ubiquitous. But now, it’s three months later and what’s going on with Groupon?
There was the initial dust-up, of course, as new leadership took over and the company settled into a new routine. But the new routine, frankly, looked a heck of a lot like the old routine. It’s like when a band you really like breaks up and then decides to reform, only without its awkward frontman to trot out the same hits.
The end result is that the buzz, or whatever word you want to use to describe the general enthusiasm and curiosity about Groupon, is dying down. Lots of people in leadership positions have been leaving (like PR evangelist Julie Mossler), and, in general, people seem to be talking far less about daily deals.
It’s certainly true of Andrew Mason, who has resumed tweeting in April after a prolonged absence from social media. No announcements about his next moves: just a Mike Judge retweet, a tweet at Intelligentsia Wholesale Educator Jesse Raub (who’s been advertising a job in LA with the company) and a Groupon-ish attempt at humor.
Word has also gotten out about Mason’s severance: He took home$5,287 (six month’s pay at his $757 2011-established base salary) and still has 6.9 percent of Class A common stock and 41.7 million shares of Class B common stock. So, obviously, he still has a stake in the company’s success — but the company needs to do something new to be, well, more successful.
The consensus, seems to be that Groupon is “better off without Andrew Mason.” But that really isn’t saying much: While its stock, at $5.86 as of press time, is being lauded for being at an eight-month high, is obviously, well, not all that high.
All these hardships aside, the company is gearing up to look for a new CEO. On May 8, the company will be announcing its first-quarter results, so, who knows. Maybe Groupon has been turning things around, but don’t you think we would have heard about that already if that were the case?
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.