Would You Be Surprised If Andrew Mason Survives the Latest Bad News from Groupon?



Teflon ManIt’s not as if we haven’t had enough time to make a decision about Groupon as we have watched it go from overnight sensation to hyped-up sensation to over-hyped sensation to IPO to a dramatic stock tumble to yesterday’s awful performance reports. No one is likely to be surprised by this fall from grace.

What has to surprise many is that CEO Andrew Mason has survived every last bit of this. He has been held up as a golden child on the way up to an immature kid during the fall. However, like a cockroach surviving a nuclear blast he seems to crawl from every bit rubble that Groupon leaves in its wake.

That is until the latest reports from Groupon. Let’s just say they are bad. No need to give the details just take our word for it. If Mason survives this one he should be given a superhero title. I suggest we call him “Teflon Man”. If he gets out of this latest predicament then nothing, absolutely nothing, will stick to this guy.

The Wall Street Journal reports

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.

As Groupon’s stock continues to falter, Mr. Mason will likely struggle to maintain the confidence of Groupon’s board members, particularly its chairman and largest shareholder, Eric Lefkofsky, who has sparred with Mr. Mason in the past, these people have said.

Groupon declined to comment on Mr. Mason.

If your company was run by a person like Mr. Mason and it kept performing to the level that Groupon has over the past year would you be surprised if that person kept their job? While it is pure speculation one has to wonder if Mr. Mason has some kind of leverage over those who could unseat him. Otherwise, how else do you explain to investors that their investment will ultimately be a good one with Mason at the helm? Groupon may have no choice than to make a move at the top to give investors even a glimmer of hope that things might change in the future and their investment might bounce back.

How are you using Groupon for your business? Are you still using Groupon as a consumer? Have you used other discount offerings like Google Offers or the similarly struggling Living Social? Is this space a loser as a profit maker? Can only those who can afford to lose money (like Google) play effectively in this space?