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Groupon appoints ace financial duo to its board

Daily deals site needs folks who can do sums

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Groupon has added two financial experts to its board in a bid to do its accounting right, although investors don't seem too cheered yet.

The daily deals site has had a string of embarrassing accounting issues, the latest of which was a restating of its fourth quarter results after what looked like someone not being able to do their sums properly. Groupon hadn't set aside the right amount of money for potential refunds to customers after it raised the prices on its coupons.

Breaking the news earlier this month, the site said it had a "material weakness" in its financial controls that it planned to address.

Yesterday, Groupon said that it had appointed Daniel Henry, the chief financial officer at American Express, to the board to replace resigning director Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks.

Both Schultz and Kevin Efrusy of venture capital firm Accel Partners handed in their notice, although Groupon said the decisions were "not the result of any dispute or disagreement with the company or its board".

Efrusy is staying on as director for now, but won't stand for re-election on 9 June at the annual shareholders' meeting. Groupon is proposing Robert Bass, vice-chairman at Deloitte, to take his place.

Henry has also been appointed to the site's audit committee and Groupon wants Bass there too so they can use their "deep financial, accounting and operational experience" to try to steer the company's accounts back onto the straight and narrow.

The news does not seem to have had an inspirational effect on investors however, shares in the site dropped 10 per cent on the news, released shortly before the closing bell in New York. ®

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