Groupon Plunges as Mason Keeps Top Job
In recent days there has been speculation that Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) CEO Andrew Mason is on the hot seat. On Thursday, however, the board of directors decided to retain the co-founder of the company as the chief executive. This shouldn't have come as a surprise, but the stock is getting hit very hard on Friday after rising earlier in the week on the speculation of a new CEO.
Even if Mason is eventually ousted, it would likely not occur in the near future.
On Friday, the stock was down more than nine percent, trading near $4.11. The shares rose sharply on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as speculation about Mason's status at the company heated up ahead of a board meeting. Shares are up around five percent over the last five trading days even after the big drop on Friday.
It is now clear that the market really wants to see a management shake-up at the company, despite Mason being the primary founder of the company and the driving force behind Groupon. The CEO is under pressure primarily because of Groupon's stock price which is down around 80 percent in 2012. Mason has also made some public blunders which added to the perception that he is not as polished and professional as some Wall Street investors would like.
For his part, Mason struck a tone of levity this week in addressing the rumors that his job was at risk. At the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York, he said that "Our stock is down 80 percent [year-to-date] ... it would be weird for the board not to be asking that question. It would be more noteworthy if the board wasn't discussing it," he said.
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