Eric Lefkofsky is the new CEO of Groupon. the 43 year-old is succeeding Andrew Mason, who was deposed in February. The new leader is co-founder of Groupon and is the largest shareholder with a stake of 17%.
No clean slate for Groupon
After the dismissal of Mason – also a co-founder of Groupon, who was fired because the company was performing badly – it was expected someone from outside the company would take over. Eventually though, Groupon decided to go for an ‘insider’.
Lefkofsky’s history is not completely problem free though: when the company went to the stock market in 2011, he said the company would become extremely profitable. Groupon eventually had to change its prospectus and had to state in it that those words had been withdrawn.
Businessman with changing success
Lefkofsky also made his mistakes in business a few times. In the late 1990s he bought the company behind kids clothing Brandon, together with a partner. That story failed miserably: the company was heavily in debt and some fashion trends were wrongly judged. Later he co-founded Starbelly.com, an online seller of promotions. He sold it later on, but buyer Ha-Lo had to write of the takeover and eventually went bankrupt itself.
Two other companies he founded that went to the stock market and are performing well: his interests in maritime technology company Echo Global Logistics and printing service company InnerWorkings are estimated at 97 million dollar (73 million euro). His interest in Groupon is said to be worth no less than 950 million dollar (710 million euro).
Groupon also announced its results for the past quarter this week. They showed a rise in sales of 7% to 608.7 million dollar (455 million euro), but a net loss of 7.6 million dollar (5.7 million euro) was the result.