Groupon’s Funky Friday: New COO Goes Back To Google; Numbers Revised

Andrew Mason, CEO, Groupon

Once again, Groupon is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Margo Georgiadis, hired as COO only five months ago, is going back to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) with a promotion; far worse, its IPO prospects dimmed again with revised numbers that cut its 2010 revenue by more than half.

It’s not unheard of for senior execs to do a reverse once they find out the grass isn’t greener or allergy free. But it’s never a good sign when you lose two COOs in a month. Going back to Google as president of the Americas is one thing; doing that instead of sticking with a company on the verge of an IPO and what would usually be seen as a big payday, can send a very different message, no matter how nicely it’s worded.

Then add in this — CEO Andrew Mason, criticized for the way he has handled the company in recent months, is taking over most of the COO role himself. Here’s how he explained it:

We’ve built a fantastic team that has proven itself highly capable, so this change won’t have an impact on operations. In fact, we are using it as an opportunity to reorganize in a way that reflects our evolving strategic priorities. Sales, Channels, International, and Marketing will now report directly to me.

Here’s a note from Margo: “Groupon is a great company and I feel privileged to have worked there even for a short time. It was a hard decision to leave as the company is on a terrific path. I have complete confidence in the team’s ability to realize its mission.” We wish her well.

But the biggest hit comes from the revenue restatement in an amended S-1/A filed with the SEC Friday afternoon, according to a report from AllThingsD. That follows a canceled road show and other missteps surrounding the IPO, including controversy over a leaked memo by Mason.

It’s safe to say quite a bit of the luster on Groupon has worn off over the past couple of months, which has also dovetailed with a rough patch for the stock market in general. The company still hopes to go public in October, according to reports from last week, and it posted a 36 percent in revenue during its last quarter under the old method of counting the money.

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