the company hopes that by adding to its board Daniel Henry, the chief financial officer of American Express, and Robert Bass, vice chairman of Deloitte, it will help to repair its relationship with investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It’s easy to take potshots at Groupon. I won’t, because they went from start up to publicly listed company in five years. They went from a valuation of $2M to a minimum of $6B, where Google ($GOOG) wanted to buy them. I might wonder how they will sustain their business, but the market is giving them validation.
They are not a company like Pets.com. They actually have a business. They employ people. Whether you should buy or sell the stock I don’t know, and this post isn’t designed to talk about that.
Strategically, this is a good move. Howard Schultz from Starbucks stepped down. Kevin Efrusy won’t seek re-election. They should not be “fall guys” for Groupon’s missteps. Board members are put on boards for a variety of reasons. Adding some accounting heft will be good for Groupon. Efrusy was a holdover from previous rounds of financing. Schultz gave them cache, and credibility for the markets. Once they blew that with shoddy accounting, the case for him being on the board went out the window.