Feeds

Groupon: IPO rumble mutated us into Wolverine

X-Men wannabe CEO explains SEC showdown on telly

Boost IT visibility and business value

Vid Groupon's 31-year-old CEO and founder Andrew Mason went on CBS chat show 60 Minutes to explain why Groupon misreported its profits in the months before its flotation on the stock exchange.

Groupon was rapped by regulators after it was found that the company had used a controversial accounting metric, which meant it subtracted online marketing expenses from its operating performance, arguably giving a misleading impression of profitability. The company was also made to restate its revenue, halving its initial profits.

Regulation forbade Mason from commenting on the controversies before the flotation in November, but he decided to send an email to his 10,000 employees explaining the figures - which were leaked to the press, landing the nude yoga-practitioner in more hot water.

Naturally the infamous video where Mason gives YouTubers yoga lessons in his underwear also came up during the interview...

Mason, who is known for being "wacky" – he showed up for the 60 Minutes interview sans tie, though he did point out he had called ahead to ask if he needed to wear one – admitted that "there are things we should have done differently". But he explained that Groupon is attracting the haters because the coupon-pushing site was so successful:

People had never seen anything grow quite so fast, and that made people want to dig in. We're inventing a new industry. If we were smart evil people, we would be more cunning and subtle in our evil ways.

In the end though, Mason learned that getting rapped by regulators was like growing a layer of hardened adamantium on his internal skeleton:

I'm not going to pretend like its been fun to have something that we poured our hearts into over the last three years, and see it criticised while we have our mouths taped shut.

We've now been hazed, we're like Wolverine and our skin has been melted off. We've had adamantium fused onto our bones. And it's made us stronger as a result.

CBS report also highlighted Mason's office washroom - apparently a porta-loo ["porta-potty" in American]. Mason also spoke to 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl about Groupon's expensive payroll – 10,000 employees strong – and its failure to turn a profit. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.