Fired Groupon CEO Mason not solely to blame for poor performance, expert suggests

March 4, 2013 by Shannon Chapla

Troubled online coupon giant Groupon fired its quirky founder and CEO Andrew Mason Thursday (Feb. 28) following another disappointing quarter, and University of Notre Dame Management Professor Timothy Judge says, "Clearly, Groupon's poor financial performance was the precipitating factor in Mason's downfall."

However, Judge, who specializes in management psychology, leadership personality and career and life success, says Mason's strange sense of humor and irreverent behavior didn't do him any favors.

"The degree to which leaders fit the images individuals have of them makes a difference," Judge says. "Leaders who display traits, appearances or behaviors at variance with are often viewed warily and their performance scrutinized. After all, J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson, after badly missing earnings and sales projections, experiencing one of the worst quarterly losses in JCP history and retreating from his bold proclamation regarding sales and discount pricing, still has his job. As a former Apple executive with an MBA from Harvard, Johnson fits the mold. Mason, who has no previous corporate experience and a music degree, doesn't."

Mason isn't solely to blame for Groupon's poor performance, though, says Judge.

"I think it's quite possible that the real problem was that the company was overvalued at the time of its , which often happens," Judge says. "And, investors and are kicking themselves, but much of the blame for that does not rest at Mason's feet."

Explore further: Groupon pulls Tibet, whales, rainforest ads

Related Stories

Groupon pulls Tibet, whales, rainforest ads

February 11, 2011

Internet bargain coupon phenomenon Groupon is pulling a series of Super Bowl advertisements that critics said made light of the plight of Tibet, whales and the Amazon rainforest.

Groupon distancing itself from rivals: CEO

December 1, 2011

Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason said Wednesday in his first comments since the online daily deals site went public that he believes the company is distancing itself from its rivals.

Groupon acts locally with $10 credit offer

December 19, 2011

(AP) -- Groupon is thinking locally. The online deals site is offering a $10 credit to the first 150,000 people who purchase a local Groupon by Dec. 24.

Groupon CEO: Moving fast is key to success

May 7, 2012

(AP) -- Groupon CEO Andrew Mason says the online deal company's business continues to improve, though he acknowledges in a letter to shareholders that the six months since its initial public offering have been "rocky to ...

Struggling Groupon ousts CEO Andrew Mason (Update)

February 28, 2013

Struggling online deals pioneer Groupon has ousted its quirky founder and CEO Andrew Mason amid worries that people are tiring of the myriad of online restaurant, spa and Botox deals that Groupon built its business on.

Recommended for you

Xbox gaming technology may improve X-ray precision

December 1, 2015

With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn't a high-tech, high-dollar ...

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

December 1, 2015

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light—the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems—they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.