Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Chugs Beer Before Telling Company It Needs To Grow Up, 5 Other Embarrasing CEO Moments

on April 26 2012 12:02 PM
Groupon CEO Andrew Mason
At a Groupon staff meeting last month, CEO Andrew Mason had all hands on deck to talk about how he believes that, since the company went public, it has been making an ass out of itself. While Mason may have been referring to the embarrassing restatement of its first quarterly results, staffers and business insiders are now looking at Mason himself as the root of the problem. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

At a Groupon staff meeting held yesterday, CEO Andrew Mason had all-hands on deck to talk about how he believes that, since the company went public, it has been making an ass out of itself.

While Mason may have been referring to the embarrassing restatement of its first quarterly results, staffers and Wall Street insiders are now looking at Mason himself as the root of the problem.

Prior to delivering his message on April 25, the founder of the deal-of-the-day website reportedly calmed his nerves by chugging a beer from a company fridge.

At one point during his presentation, his voice broke and he said 'Sorry, too much beer,' according to the Wall Street Journal.

It was in an hour long town hall style meeting with employees that the Groupon Inc. Chief Executive told the workers that they need to stop taking stupid risks.

Groupon, a website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies, was launched in November 2008.

By 2010, the website served more than 150 markets in North America and 100 Markets in Europe, Asia and South America and had 3 million registered users.

Despite its major success, Groupon restated its Q4 earnings back in March 2012 after a higher-than-expected number of customers demanded refunds on orders they were apparently not happy with.

According to the company, the launch of new, higher priced products late last year led to a considerably higher return rate than the company was used to.

A report, which elaborated on the restatement, explained that when customers demand refunds within 60 days, Groupon's accounting treats the refund as a contra-revenue event, meaning that it reduces Groupon's revenue earning. After 60 days, refunds are treated as an expense, so they only hit earnings.

Groupon Inc. Chief Executive Andrew Mason told the company's employees on Wednesday that the daily-deals site needs to grow up-right after he apologized for drinking too much beer.

According to WSJ report, the 31-year-old CEO occasionally swigged from a beer bottle while he voiced his plan for corporate priorities for the next six months, which included beefing up financial controls and hiring more finance staff.

Groupon currently employs 10,000 men and women and in 2010 was valued at $1.35 billion.

According to a December 2010 report conducted by Groupon's marketing association and reported in Forbes Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, Groupon was projecting that the company is on pace to make $1 billion in sales faster than any other business, ever

While Andrew Mason's recent embarrasing moment might not be remembered as one of Groupon's finest moments, it does rank high in embarrasing CEO moments. Here are five other embarrasing CEO moments.

1. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Does Victory Dance

2. Steve Jobs Unprepared For Glitches As He Unveils iPhone4

3. Lehman Bros. Robert Fuld Hesitates Under Questioning

4. Customer Slaps Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

5. Lane Berry's Frederick Lane Stumbles Over His Words On CNBC

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