I’m extremely excited to announce that Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, has [joined the Groupon Board of Directors](http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110210006880/en). As CEO of one of the world’s most iconic brands, Howard is an invaluable addition to Groupon. His experience in building the culture and business of Starbucks and his relentless focus on innovation to improve customer experiences brings a unique combination of skills to our Board of Directors.
To make room for Howard and future additions to the board, a few of our existing (and fantastic) directors stepped down following our [most recent round of financing](http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/10/groupon-raises-like-a-billion-dollars/). Along with Howard, the Groupon board currently consists of me, my co-founders Eric Lefkofsky (also the chairman) and Brad Keywell, Peter Barris, Kevin Efrusy, and Ted Leonsis. Stepping down will be John Walter, Harry Weller, and Jason Fried.
Everyone on our board has made major contributions to our success, so I’m extremely pleased that John, Harry and Jason will remain close to the company. John Walter, former CEO of R.R. Donnelley, taught me about the importance of culture – Groupon wouldn’t be nearly as cool a place to work if we didn’t have John. Without the support of Harry Weller from NEA, we might have never received the funding we used to conceive and grow Groupon – he’s also been our most prescient advisor, predicting trends like the rampant cloning of Groupon far before the rest of us. Jason Fried is a product genius, and will continue to help us simplify and refine our features as a member of our advisory board.