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.