Ousted Groupon CEO’s Farewell Note is a Prime PR Lesson

It's no surprise that Groupon founder Andrew Mason was booted from his CEO post today. The once high-flying daily deals site is in a fight for survival, as  its stock has tumbled to just a quarter of its IPO price.

Mason's ability to lead the company has been called into question since the company's inception, particularly since its IPO in Nov. 2011. As CNN Money points out, Mason's irreverence often showed through on the job, causing some to question if he had the maturity to hold the position of chief executive.

However, that irreverence came in handy in Mason's farewell letter, which he tweeted out to Groupon's employees yesterday. Some nuggets from the note:

"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."

"Now I'll take 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."

Funny, touching, inspiring and self-deprecating, Mason's swan song note should be studied by PR pros as an example of transparent, unforced and honest communications.

Perhaps in Mason's next professional life, he'll head up a PR agency.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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