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Howard Schultz leaves Groupon Immediately

edited May 2012 in Off-Topic

Maybe he was upset by the "Too Much Beer" incident.
"Chief Executive Andrew Mason told the company's employees Wednesday that the daily-deals site needs to grow up—right after he apologized for drinking too much beer."

Groupon replaces Schultz and another board member with an exec from Amex and another from Deloitte.


  • "The stock has dropped 42 percent since the March 30 announcement, through Monday, and Groupon officers, directors and underwriters were named in a lawsuit filed by investor Fan Zhang in Chicago federal court this month."

    I am shocked! Simply shocked that financial improprieties could have taken place. Who could have foreseen this?

  • edited May 2012
    You missed your calling, Maurice. I can just see you as a star lawyer, explaining to the jury that after all, the Beagle Boys merely committed a "financial impropriety" when they blew the door on Scrooge McDuck's bank vault.
  • edited May 2012
    Well Joe, given the SEC's history on a lack of prosecuting maleficence it would not be a difficult case to make. Even fines are fairly rare.

    When Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted, there were enhanced reporting requirements put in place. Groupon having recently gone public, means that their reporting and disclosure requirements were increased. The CEO and CFO must sign off on those disclosures as being true. If they aren't, then perjury has been committed. I have not read the Group proxy or their first SEC report, assuming that has released, nor will I. So I can't say whether or not any misstatements were made. But clearly, by their own admission, they haven't effectively put in place internal controls monitoring their business practices.

    There were fixes that needed to made after Enron and GE (ya, they cooked the books too). Personally, I think that Sarbanes-Oxley is not the right medicine for our public corporations. It is too intrusive and costly. I also think that when Sarbanes-Oxley went for great accuracy of accounting reports, instead of the reporting being representative of the business, something was lost. But with Sarbanes-Oxley or something different, no enforcement leads to the very same problems reoccurring and new ones cropping up.

    While there maybe cases of the feds going after companies for violating Sarbanes-Oxley, I haven't heard of any. The SEC is only interested in prosecuting, when they are exposed as being asleep at the wheel. Even then it takes a lot. Remember the mutual fund scandals a decade ago? It took many indictments by the NY AG, before they even acknowledged that there were problems. I think one solution is to reorganized the enforcement arm of the SEC over to Homeland Security, leaving the SEC only to write regulation.
  • Andrew Mason may have had a couple too many beers and who know what else, when he wrote to the company employees about his departure. To me it was a long time in coming. It is almost a year since scott created this thread. I think in less than another year, Groupon will no longer exist as a corporate entity. Either they will be bought out or out of business.

    As a teaser, here is the start of Andrew Mason's letter. You have to admit, he is the opposite of a white button down shirt and a dark blue suit CEO. Or rather was.
    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.
    Here are the story and letter.
  • edited March 2013
    Reply to @Maurice: Living Social is probably not going to last either, or one or the other doesn't.

    "In the latest round, LivingSocial sold 7.5 percent of the company for $110 million. That suggests the company is worth almost $1.5 billion now. In an earlier round of financing, the company was valued at roughly $4.5 billion."

    In other techsumer news, Apple hitting 52 wk low

    431.36 -10.04 (-2.28%)
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