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Groupon ends board meeting with no CEO action

Andrew Masfounder CEO Groupon

Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon

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Updated: January 1, 2013 6:35AM



Groupon’s board of directors ended its meeting Thursday with no announced action on CEO Andrew Mason’s fate, a company spokesman said.

“The board and the management team are focused on the performance of the company and they are all working together with heads down to achieve Groupon’s objectives,” said spokesman Paul Taaffe.

A Wall Street Journal report said the board at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday would consider starting a search to replace Mason, the Chicago daily deals site’s founder.

Analyst Edward Woo of Ascendiant Capital Markets LLC said Thursday he believes the board members “may have tried to light a fire under” Mason and warn him about what may happen if the company’s results and stock price continue to disappoint.

“His fate will be determined on how the company does over the next year, which I remain cautious about,” Woo said.

Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund, a New York-based investor in fast-growing social and mobile technology companies, first told the Sun-Times in July that Groupon’s stock was being hurt partly because investors were struggling to take Mason seriously

Groupon’s stock, which ended the day Thursday up 2.72 percent, fell in after-hours trading following news of the board’s inaction. The stock was trading at $4.54 after hours, down 13 cents or 2.86 percent in the evening.

Groupon sought to brighten the mood Thursday with news that its Black Friday daily deal purchase rate and mobile traffic and transactions set records. Separately, it announced it is now the exclusive daily deals provider for Major League Baseball and its 30 teams. Groupon had previously run daily deal offers for 19 of those teams, including a $30,000 offer from Chicago Cubs Charities to throw out the first pitch last August, watch batting practice, take a person tour of Wrigley Field and get other goodies. No one took the deal.



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