Groupon, which has lost 99.4% of its value since its IPO, names a new CEO… based in Czech Republic

1 month ago 5

A twelve years ago, Groupon changeable to fame popularizing the online radical buying format, confidently rejecting a $6 cardinal acquisition connection from Google and alternatively going nationalist with a $17.8 cardinal marketplace cap. The institution contiguous says it has 14 cardinal progressive users, but astir consistently for the past decade, its fiscal presumption has been successful a dilatory diminution — with stagnation successful its halfway concern model, small occurrence successful efforts to diversify, declining revenues and ongoing losses.

And contiguous comes the latest section successful that story. The Chicago-based company, which contiguous has a marketplace headdress of conscionable $103 cardinal (a driblet of 99.4% from its nationalist marketplace debut), has appointed Dusan Senkypl, a existent committee member, arsenic interim CEO. Senkypl volition tally the company… retired of the Czech Republic.

His assignment is effectual immediately, the institution said successful a connection today.

He replaces Kedar Deshpande, who had been Groupon’s CEO for conscionable 15 months. Before Groupon, Deshpande was an exec astatine Zappos for much than a decade, and aft helium took the Groupon job, helium continued to beryllium based retired of Las Vegas. He volition enactment connected for 60 much days to assistance with the transition, the institution said.

Senkypl is simply a co-founder of Pale Fire Capital, a PE steadfast based successful Prague (and named aft the Nabokov novel?). Most of Pale Fire’s investments are successful businesses retired of its location state and different parts of Europe. But it is besides presently Groupon’s biggest shareholder — a relation it has not held passively: the 2 businesses were embroiled successful an activistic combat past year that resulted successful the steadfast getting 2 committee seats astatine the company, 1 of which Senkypl holds.

“Since helium joined the Board, Dusan has been precise engaged arsenic a director, providing important oversight connected Groupon’s strategy and strengths and helping the institution place areas successful request of improvement,” noted Ted Leonsis, Groupon’s chairman, successful an upbeat instrumentality connected the news.

Indeed. In November, Pale Fire announced that it was helping Groupon rebuild its full exertion team, starting with the assignment of a caller CTO from 1 of its different portfolio companies.

The institution has besides been doing immoderate different reasonably aggravated restructuring, with its presumption not helped by the wider pressures connected the exertion assemblage and the system overall: crossed 2 tranches successful August 2022 and January 2023, it laid disconnected astir 1,000 employees, oregon astir 30% of its workforce.

Groupon specifically has faced a big of challenges implicit the years. The precise conception of radical buying is structured connected the conception of hype, which whitethorn person been a fateful, less-than-promising starting point. Even aboriginal on, and contempt the predictions of it being a menace to Google and Amazon, others debated whether it could rightly beryllium considered a “tech” company. But beyond this, Groupon — contempt making much than 40 acquisitions, including a big of clones crossed planetary markets, positive a fig of absorbing e-commerce and fintech businesses — failed to find different hooks to diversify itself.

Meanwhile, a cardinal selling way for the institution — email — died a tiny death erstwhile Google changed however subscription emails were categorized (and could beryllium much easy ignored). And of course, dozens of different platforms and innovations person emerged targeting customers who are looking to bargain the benignant of experiences and services that companies similar Groupon sell.

Senkypl and Groupon person a gangly bid up of them to crook each this around. But the caller CEO believes that determination is inactive an accidental to hole what isn’t working.

“I person a heavy appreciation for the dedication that has gone into gathering this institution and americium honored to usher Groupon done its translation and turnaround,” Senkypl said successful a statement. “With unsocial section inventory, implicit 14 cardinal progressive section customers and millions of visitant sessions per month, Groupon has invaluable assets susceptible of fueling important maturation erstwhile paired with operational excellence. I americium excited to physique connected that instauration to further standard the company’s marketplace and thrust accrued worth for each stakeholders. I person built aggregate businesses from the crushed up that operated astatine standard with hundreds of millions of users, and I judge I cognize what we request to bash astatine Groupon to instrumentality the institution to the adjacent level.”

For immoderate discourse connected those numbers: 14 cardinal mightiness dependable similar a large number, but callback that erstwhile the institution archetypal filed to spell nationalist backmost successful 2011, it said it had much than 83 cardinal registered subscribers, with astir 15.8 cardinal of them having purchased Groupon deals. There is simply a batch of enactment to do, successful different words, to get radical to attraction astir Groupon again.

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