Groupon Chair Steps Back to Refocus on VC Work

(Reuters) – Groupon Inc. chairman Eric Lefkofsky said on Monday he is stepping back from hands-on, operational involvement in the world’s largest daily deal company to focus more on his venture capital firm Lightbank.

Lefkofsky wrote in his personal blog that he looks forward to continuing to work with Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason as chairman of Groupon’s board of directors.

“But in the meantime, I’ve immersed myself in Lightbank and am focused on growing the company,” Lefkofsky wrote.

Groupon shares fell almost 11 percent to close at $9.51 on Monday. The stock was down about 8 percent earlier in the day and added to losses after Lefkofsky’s update.

Lefkofsky co-founded Groupon with Mason and Brad Keywell. Lefkofsky was also Groupon’s first investor and has been a mentor to the young CEO Mason.

When Groupon started, Lefkofsky said he and Mason worked in many different roles. But the company has hired several executives in the past 18 months, allowing Lefkofsky to step back.

“When Groupon was a ‘young’ company, Andrew and I wore a lot of different hats. Every time we hired someone new, we gave up a hat,” Lefkofsky wrote. “Given the breadth of the team today, everyone’s hat is planted firmly on the right head, which has allowed me to focus on doing what I do best.”

(By Alistair Barr; Editing by Dale Hudson)

Image Credit: