Groupon’s Leader was Led to the Door

Written by Melissa Juron
Edited by Sarah Mejia


As with all endeavors, leadership positions carry much power in conjunction with responsibility. Management facilitation is a respectable leadership skill, but representative skills are also important. As an important leader, the Chief Executive Officer of any business is not hidden away, but rather viewed as the face of an organization; much of the blame and glory falls on his/her shoulders.

Groupon is a website where users can purchase deals or goods from local vendors. There is a high level of customization of deals catering to specific areas, and users can alter their locations from moves or travel. Although the name is unique (a portmanteau for group and coupon), many other ventures have jumped on the bandwagon, creating similar deal sites.
Recently, Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason was let go. He was, in fact, a co-founder of Groupon. High tensions and disagreements between Mason and fellow co-founder, Eric Lefkofsky were reported in 2012. Representational leadership includes defending the company to investors, in part to avoid chaotic changes. After a quarterly loss, Mason was urged to defend the company, perhaps to speak of resolutions, and he did not. This caused a 24% decline in shares. Just like a goalie during a soccer game, midst passes and movement from indistinguishable players, the CEO gets blamed for not “saving” the company from developing a bad reputation.
Besides those already mentioned, further responsibilities leaders have are personal decorum and etiquette. However, instead of preserving his own image, as well as that of his former employment, with a polite explanation, Mason told Groupon’s employees in a memo that, “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.” Sarcasm has a place in comedy clubs and during informal get-togethers, but not in company memos that can be leaked.
These antics illustrate that Mason was immature, quirky, and unfit for the position.


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