Online coupon service Groupon has hired a Google Inc executive to be its new chief operating officer, filling a key slot in its management team ahead of a potential initial public offering, according to a media report.

Margo Georgiadis, vice president of global sales planning and technology at Google, will take the No. 2 job at Chicago-based Groupon, a month after the current COO said he would step down, Crain's Chicago Business said in a report on Thursday, citing a source briefed on the matter.

Groupon was expected to announce the news later on Thursday, according to the report.

Groupon would not comment on the matter.

Nikesh Arora, Google senior vice president and chief business officer, said in an emailed statement to Reuters that he was excited that Georgiadis was joining a terrific company and a great partner for Google.

Google tried to acquire Groupon for $6 billion in December, but was rebuffed, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The move comes as Google and Groupon increasingly compete for the vast local advertising market, with each company pitching their respective online marketing services to small businesses such a restaurants and nail salons.

In February, Groupon hired Google's Jason Harinstein, a director on the search company's mergers and acquisitions team, to serve as its senior vice president of corporate development.

Georgiadis had been with Google for two years and was based in its Chicago office. Groupon's previous COO and president, Rob Solomon, said in March that he planned to leave the company in the coming months.

Groupon, which recently raised $950 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has met with bankers to discuss a possible IPO, CEO Andrew Mason told Reuters in January.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Jennifer Saba, editing by Maureen Bavdek)