Groupon, the pioneering online bazaar for coupons and deals, is suddenly in the market for a new CEO.

The struggling online discount giant dismissed on Thursday CEO Andrew Mason, who had founded the company and led it for four tumultuous years, amid concerns that the site had lost its luster in attracting new customers.

Mason, whose job was rumored to have been in jeopardy for months, said goodbye to his former colleagues in a characteristically quirky farewell memo.

“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,” Mason wrote.

“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,” he added.

Groupon’s Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will replace Mason on an interim basis while the company searches for a permanent replacement, Groupon said in a release.

“On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history,” Lefkofsky added, in the company statement.

The announcement came one day after Groupon reported a larger-than-expected loss and provided a weak revenue outlook for the current quarter.

But investors had long been worried over the future prospects of the company — particularly about subscribers getting sick of the frequent emails that flood their inboxes.

Groupon had found itself under scrutiny since its 2011 initial public offering after a series of mistakes rocked its stock price.

Over the past two years, the SEC launched an investigation into the company’s accounting metrics and closely probed the company’s financial results.

At one point in 2012, a revision of the company’s quarterly financials resulted in a “material weakness” in the company’s “internal controls.”

Due to those, and other, issues, Groupon’s stock has lost nearly 80% of its value since the company’s IPO.

While Mason seemed to bittersweetly acknowledge the mistakes the company made under his direction, he was nonetheless lighthearted when it came to his next step.

“I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey, he wrote in his parting memo “ 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.”

source: http://www.nydailynews.com

Groupon’s Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will replace Mason on an interim basis while the company searches for a permanent replacement, Groupon said in a release.

“On behalf of the entire Groupon Board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history,” Lefkofsky added, in the company statement.

The announcement came one day after Groupon reported a larger-than-expected loss and provided a weak revenue outlook for the current quarter.