“It can be liberating to get fired because you realize the world doesn’t end. There’s other ways to make money, better jobs.” – Ron Livingston
Andrew Mason leaves with candor. He’d quit, but someone beat him to the punch. Such honesty from corporate leadership is refreshingly sweet.
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.
Congrats on winning the Rat Race level with style.
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.” — Mark Twain
1960. After a segment of his show was deleted by the network, Jack Paar walks off the Tonight Show saying, “There has got be a better way to make a living than this.” A few weeks later he returned with these comments. “When I walked off, I said there must be a better way of making a living. Well, I’ve looked… and there isn’t.”
“If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to.” – Dorothy Parker
Daniel Suelo left his life savings of $30 in a phone booth and quit money. Read ABC’s story here. It wasn’t bitter, rash or angry. He simply decided he would be happier without money. Now he lives in caves and scavenges for food. He says his depression has lifted since he said goodbye to money and he feels better about his life. Read Daniel’s musings on his blog Zero Currency. Pretty sweet and gentle for such deeply subversive thinking. Hats off to you, Daniel.
“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” — Dave Barry
Resign with cake
What better (and more delicious) way could there be to resign than with a cake? “Please accept this cake as notification that I am leaving my position,” W. Neil Barrett wrote on the cake. There was no bitterness about the resignation, and Barrett gave a heartfelt farewell. See a picture of the cake here.
“I don’t believe in email. I’m an old-fashioned girl. I prefer calling and hanging up.” — Sarah Jessica Parker
Over at LSquared, a blog entry publishes this resignation email from a former co-worker. I haven’t been able to verify whether or not it actually happened, but the sheer bad-ass attitude is deserving of recognition.
“My computer game has taken off and certain software companies have made me offers I cannot possibly refuse. I hope I never turn into one of the “pointy haired dudes” by remembering the lessons I’ve learned from the ones around here.”