Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, sent out a memo Thursday to employees explaining he was fired from his position after the site experienced a major loss in profits.
Mason, 32, said the company deserves “the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance.”
His firing is not surprising, as insiders say it has been planned for months.
Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will take over his position temporarily until a new replacement is found. According to a person familiar with Groupon’s deliberations, they are not considering any of the company’s board members and will likely hire someone outside of the company.
They will likely favor someone who has e-commerce and global experience and is familiar with Groupon’s strategic thinking.
Mason’s memo was comedic and light-hearted, indicating he had no negative feelings about it.
“I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding - I was fired today,” Mason wrote. “If you’re wondering why, you haven’t been paying attention.”
Last year’s accounting controversy and the company’s decision to offer public stock led to a loss and weakening of revenue outlook for the current quarter.
“The events of the last year and a half speak for themselves,” he said. “As CEO, I am accountable.”
Mason ended the email by saying he loved Groupon and is “terribly” proud of the company.
“I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey,” he wrote. “I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you.”
In 2010, Mason earned a base salary of $180,000, but asked the board to cut it down to $756.72 per year in 2011. Though he’s lost his job, he doesn’t have money to worry about, as CNN Money said he holds nearly 47 million shares of Groupon worth about $213 million.