Former Groupon CEO leaks outgoing memo: 'I was fired today'

Newly ousted Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason publishes a brutally honest internal memo to employees on his departure.

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Dan Farber/CNET

Not waiting for a leak, newly ousted Groupon CEO Andrew Mason made his departing memo public this afternoon.

In it, Mason claims responsibility for missing expectations and the company's stock price, and says that a "fresh CEO" earns the company a chance at a second chance.

Mason also shows a geeky, youthful spirit, making the comparison of running the company this far to the popular, though notoriously difficult 1991 video game Battletoads.

You can read the whole memo below, which Mason linked to in a Tweet:

(This is for Groupon employees, but I'm posting it publicly since it will leak anyway)

People of Groupon,

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. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that's hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we've shared over the last few months, and I've never seen you working together more effectively as a global company - it's time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

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. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I'll now take some time to decompress (FYI I'm looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I'll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there's one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. 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 - don't waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.

Love,
Andrew

In a follow-up tweet, Mason joked that he was "good" on the fat camp recommendations:


 

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