9. Put the Control Issues Behind You
There remain lots of questions hanging over the company about proper financial controls. These simply must be put behind the company. CFO Jason Child can't do this himself. He'll need the help of the next CEO.
10. Hire a 'Wise' CEO Who Is Trusted
The next CEO must engender confidence among investors. He or she doesn't have to be old, but they must be wise. They must send a clear signal that someone talented sees the opportunity at Groupon and will "fix" Groupon to properly address that massive opportunity. This will help investors believe again in the story that they originally fell in love with.
However, with all this said, there might never be another CEO for Groupon. Andrew Mason as CEO wasn't holding this company back. He wasn't a distraction to Groupon employees from delivering.
Therefore, why did Mason leave? I think it's because, by announcing Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis as interim co-CEOs, I think Groupon put itself on the block today. I think that announcement was code for "Hey, Google and Yahoo, would you pretty please reconsider making an offer for our company?" Lefkofsky has shown that he wants to win and go for a big payday but he's also eminently practical. I don't think he'd care a whit about selling his company at the bottom if he thought he could get his entire investment liquid immediately. I think Brad Keywell would be in the same boat. I also think a guy like Ted Leonsis would love to just move on from the company, even if he felt he was leaving some money on the table by selling the company to Google below their prior famous $6 billion price. If there was a serious offer out there, I think Lefkofsky and Leonsis would listen. And then the buyer could worry about the turnaround of Groupon. At the time of publication the author is long GRPN, AAPL and YHOO. Follow @ericjackson This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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