Andrew Mason: "I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through."
When Groupon went public back in 2011, the world seemed all butterfies and rainbows to the plucky tech startup. Having passed up a $6 billon buyout by Google, they plunged forth into independence, only to have their dreams get crumpled up like an expired coupon. Competitors quickly rose up, consumers moved on, and the entire business model started to look shaky. Now, they're worth a quarter of their 2011 valuation, and less than half of that generous Google offer. Today, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason found himself out of a job.
"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," Mason said in a public message aimed at Groupon Employees. Yet, he seems to be taking it pretty well. "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."
"[T]he events of the last year and a half speak for themselves," Mason said. "As CEO, I am accountable." He notes that Groupon will need to change to survive, and a fresh CEO will give it the flexibility to do just that. As he said to his former employees, "you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I'm getting in the way of that." The rest of the casually written message can be found here.
As anyone who's played the game knows, dying in Battletoads is only to be expected, (especially in the Terra Tubes level, which all but demands a blood sacrifice for safe passage.) Apparently, we now live in an age when CEOs can humbly claim their failures using lingo of the 80's NES generation.