Groupon's board of directors replaced CEO Rich Williams Wednesday (March 25), just a month after the eCommerce company posted a lackluster earnings report and vowed to retool its operations to focus more on travel and experiences rather than selling merchandise.
According to a company statement, Aaron Cooper, Groupon's president of North America, is now the interim CEO. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Steve Krenzer also stepped down from his role. Both Williams and Krenzer will continue to work for the company.
In the statement, Groupon Board Chairman Eric Lefkofsky said Cooper will assist the board in finding a permanent CEO and a panel has been created for the search. The company did not say why Williams and Krenzer stepped down.
Just a little over a month ago, Groupon posted its fourth-quarter earnings, which missed estimates by half with revenue dropping 23 percent to $612.3 million.
"We recognize we must move swiftly to put Groupon back on a growth trajectory,” Williams said at the time.
As it focuses on consumer experiences, its interim CEO is well-placed for the move. During his 10-year tenure at Groupon, Cooper has worked in the roles of chief marketing officer and headed the Travel and Goods business prior to serving as North American president. He previously worked at Orbitz, AEG Partners, AOL and Price Waterhouse Management Consultants.
"I have seen the company develop from a small email-based platform into what we believe will be the leading online destination for experiences,” Cooper said in the company statement. “The disruption created by the global pandemic, however, is significant, and our immediate goal is to help millions of Groupon merchants, customers and employees navigate the massive challenges they face. We have a strong team in place that is in constant communication with our community, working on opportunities to support them in new ways during these uncertain times, even as we continue to focus on strengthening Groupon’s leadership position.”