Groupon CEO reveals the site has a lot of growing up to do

Groupon CEO reveals the site has a lot of growing up to do
More money, more problems

The chief of voucher company Groupon has spoken candidly about his company's attitude to business, believing there's work to be done.

CEO Andrew Mason was talking at an informal meet-up where employees can chat with the chief exec about all things Groupon.

The meeting was also streamed over the web and was watched by the Wall Street Journal, which has noted that proceedings were so laid-back that Mason was drinking a beer while giving his speech.

"We're still this toddler in a grown man's body in many ways," explained Mason, beer in hand. He also noted that the company doesn't "have any margin for error".

Money matters

The meeting was to address what will happen with the company in the next six months and, from his speech, Mason is looking to kick Groupon into shape business-wise.

He referred to mistakes the company has made in its rather short life – it was founded in 2008 – including the fact that its accountants had to revise its results from $713.4 million (£440 million) in revenue in 2010, to a more conservative $312.9 million (£193 million).

According to the WSJ, Mason said that this mistake was "the latest in a string of just us making an example of how bad we are at being a public company. We have to get good at this."

There's also been the fact that the Office of Fair Trading in the UK has been breathing down the company's neck over a number of deals it has made through the site.

Currently Groupon employs around 11,000 people but it is set to hire more – unsurprisingly it is the financial side of the business that is to get a bigger headcount.

This proposed shake-up of Groupon will hopefully alleviate the stock price drop the company is currently seeing. When it first went public in November, shares were $40 (£24), now they are significantly lower at around $12 (£7.50).

No wonder Mason was having a drink while he was giving the speech.

Via WSJ and Cnet

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.