Groupon’s CFO Resigns

Groupon’s chief financial officer has stepped down.

The Chicago-based company revealed that CFO Michael Randolfi, who has been with the company since 2016, is resigning, effective Friday (Aug. 23), to pursue another opportunity.

“The CFO was more than just a CFO,” said Tom Forte, a senior research analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co., according to The Wall Street Journal. “His departure from the company is a significant loss.”

Groupon said it appointed Melissa Thomas as interim CFO while it is searching for a successor. Thomas, who joined Groupon in 2017 as vice president of commercial finance, has served as chief accounting officer and treasurer since November 2018.

His resignation comes as Chief Executive Rich Williams is attempting to boost business by targeting local commerce and higher-value customers. The company went public in 2011 and was once valued at $16.5 billion, but its current market value is $1.42 billion. At the end of last month, the company reported falling profit and revenue for the second quarter due to fewer customers and lower traffic. Gross profit decreased to $292.1 million in the second quarter, down 9.7 percent from the prior-year quarter, while revenue fell 13.7 percent to $532.6 million.

“This is a fallen angel that still has a lot of bookings and revenue differentiating them from other internet darlings that shuttered,”  Forte said.

Part of the company’s plan to turn sales around includes buying an artificial intelligence (AI) driven voice and text messaging tool called Presence AI earlier this month.

The tool is meant to enhance a customer’s ability to communicate with a merchant. A study by eMarketer shows that most people, especially millennials, prefer to chat or message instead of calling on the phone.

Groupon also announced an additional discount program called Groupon Select. The program’s benefits include an extra 25 percent discount on local deals, an extra 15 percent off all Groupon Goods orders plus free shipping, and an additional 10 percent off travel, tickets and live events. The program costs $4.99 a month. After the first payment, participants can get a $5 Starbucks gift card.

The discounts are applied automatically at checkout, with no promo code required. There are no order minimums or savings caps when using the program.


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