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Groupon names co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as new CEO

After it fired Andrew Mason in February amid growing concerns about the company's financial performance, Groupon Inc has named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as its CEO.

twitter-logoAssociated Press | August 8, 2013 | Updated 16:32 IST

Groupon named co-founder Eric Lefkofsky as CEO, replacing Andrew Mason, who was fired from the online deals site in February amid growing concerns about its financial performance.

Lefkofsky had served as Groupon's chairman and half of the Office of the Chief Executive, along with Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, since Mason's ousting. Leonsis will now serve as the company's chairman.

Groupon also reported strong second-quarter results on Wednesday, sending shares sharply higher in after-hours trading.

The company booked a loss of $7.6 million, or 1 cent per share, in the April-to-June period. That's down from earnings of $28.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2012.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock compensation expenses, were 2 cents per share in the latest period. Revenue rose 7 per cent to $608.7 million from $568.3.

"With two quarters on the job, I'm pleased with the progress we've made in such a short time," Lefkofsky said in a statement. "We continue to gain traction in mobile, with nearly 50 per cent of our North American transactions coming from mobile in June."

For the current quarter, Groupon expects adjusted earnings in the range of a loss of 1 cent to a profit of 1 cent per share on revenue of $585 million and $635 million.

Analysts are forecasting earnings of 5 cent per share, on revenue of $621.5 million.

Groupon built its business on emailing daily discount deals for restaurants, spas and nail salons to users and taking a cut of the money businesses make from them. But Groupon is trying to move beyond that. To diversify its business, the company has expanded into product sales, payments services and other areas.

Last month, it launched Groupon Reserve, a service that lets people book restaurant tables at a discount.

The company also announced plans to repurchase $300 million of stock over the next two years.

Chicago-based Groupon's stock jumped $1.67, or 19 per cent, to $10.39 in after-hours trading. At this rate, the stock could open well above its 52-week high of $9.43, reached in early July. Shares closed regular trading Wednesday at $8.72, up 79 per cent since the start of the year.

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