This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Lay Off Groupon's Andrew Mason, He Was Already Fired

Stocks in this article: GRPN FB P EBAY DMD

Folks who try to take Mason's accomplishments away from him or label them insignificant because the daily deal space appears broken suffer from what Howard Lindzon called entrepreneur envy .

It's the same dynamic when people dog Zuckerberg at Facebook (FB) or the people at Pandora (P). They call it a bubble because they don't understand it. They can't feel the energy of start-up culture.

Mason could have exited Groupon without a word on Thursday with his head still held high. Instead, he penned four paragraphs and one sentence that you absolutely should do yourself the favor of reading. If you don't walk away from this whole episode liking the guy -- and even feeling bad for beating on him -- you're something other than human.

My favorite parts of Mason's farewell letter to his staff:

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... As CEO, I am accountable.
For those who are concerned about me, please don't be -- I love Groupon, and I'm terribly proud of what we've created. I'm OK with having failed at this part of the journey.
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...
I will miss you terribly.

Don't mumble something about him being rich. That's neither here nor there. He's an emotional human. And he did everything that a better man would do in a really tough situation.

He broke the ice with self-deprecation. Don't take yourself so seriously, right?! He accepted accountability. He admitted regrets. And he showed genuine emotion. But, most importantly, he didn't follow it up with hollow bravado just to stroke his own ego and salvage pride. Ron Johnson could learn a lot from Andrew Mason.

Also on Thursday, I met with the guy who -- good Lord willing and the creek don't rise -- will be the sixth guest on TheBeach Meets TheStreet come Tuesday, April 2.

Jeff Fluhr co-founded StubHub, sold it to Ebay (EBAY) and now leads another start-up, San Francisco-based Spreecast. Sit with Jeff for an hour as he passionately holds court on the history of StubHub and the current emergent state of Spreecast and you can't help but walk out the door even more jazzed about whatever it is you're doing.

It's a thrill to be around such positive energy. I hope, over time, we can transfer that vibe via TheBeach Meets TheStreet. Jeff, as well as Demand Media's (DMD) Richard Rosenblatt, who joins us on Tuesday, March 19, will certainly help us move closer to that goal.

Ultimately, a better understanding of start-up culture and the people who help create it will make headlines like Lay Off Groupon's Fired CEO not seem so counter to the prevailing mood in our build 'em up, tear them down, bandwagon-jumping society.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs