Today’s Burning Question: Andrew Mason’s Ouster as Groupon’s CEO

Written on
Mar 1, 2013 
Mike Daly  |

Today we asked out panel of industry leaders: What can be learned from the series of events that led to Thursday’s ouster of Groupon CEO Andrew Mason?

Here’s how they responded:

“”Andrew Mason’s taking the fall, but the market has steadily lost confidence in Groupon, because their model is ungrounded in sound economics. Groupon for merchants is a game-changer in the sense that a flood is a landscape changer. They do not foster long-term customer acquisition, encouraging switching rather than loyalty — anathema to any brand builder.” --Vijay Sundaram, head of sales and marketing at SocialTwist.

“Several things can be learned from the ouster of Groupon’s CEO, Andrew Mason.  The first is the oldest maxim in business, what comes up must come down.  We have seen this with Groupon.  Beyond that, we are seeing with Groupon and other sites that the age of the massive discount sites is ending.  Merchants want to see an ROI and were not seeing it with Groupon.  Additionally, they were seeking data tracking that wasn’t being properly provided.  I expect some of the deep discount sites will go out of business, and those that remain will put a greater emphasis on providing an ROI for merchants.” – – David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC.

“It was very honorable for Andrew to write that letter and to have it shared publicly – he did the right thing and was very humble about it. The one thing we’d advocate, however, is that CEOs should fix the “lack of data” issue and get the data they need. Data and intuition aren’t mutually exclusive and we will always need the human aspect of understanding the insights that data provides. Big data, right now at least, is best used when helping automate decisions that CAN be automated (such as identifying customers who are about to have issues with their product, or planning inventory based on consumers past buying habits, geography and profile, etc). Lack of data shouldn’t be an excuse as it’s easily fixed. Our customer Where had an intuition and strategy about how to make their product better and used Big Data to help execute on it.” – Ron Bodkin, CEO of Think Big Analytics.

More to come…

Mike Daly is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of experience in publishing. He began his career in 1983 at The News of Paterson, N.J., a long-since defunct daily paper, where at age 22 he was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Since then he has served in managerial capacities with several news organizations, including Arts Weekly Inc. and North Jersey Media Group in New Jersey and Examiner Media in New York. His work has been honored on numerous occasions by the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

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