Andrew Mason’s Honest Letter to his Employees

Andrew Mason was fired as CEO of Groupon yesterday. He penned one of the most humble/honest letters to his employees. There’s no PR shilling here:

People of Groupon,

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.

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. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. 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.

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.

Love,

Andrew

Wonderful.

Andrew, if you’re reading: get in touch with me about losing those 40 pounds. I did it last year and have kept the weight off.

How to Make $44 Million in 20 Minutes

Short answer: become and exit as CEO of Duke Energy, all in less than a day’s work.

Earlier this month, Bill Johnson enjoyed one of the shortest (and most lucrative, in dollars/hour) terms as CEO in U.S. history, as he was ousted from his new position at Duke Energy after only a few minutes on the job. Earlier today, Johnson explained to regulators that his brief time on the job was just as surprising to him as it was to the rest of the world.

Only a few weeks ago, Johnson has been the CEO of Progress Energy. Then that company merged with the larger Duke — becoming the nation’s largest electric utility provider — and Johnson was named CEO of the combined businesses… but only for about 20 minutes, at which point the board called for him to leave (with the help of a payout worth around $44 million).

The Wall Street Journal has more details about this crazy story. Call it a see-saw turn of events.