Groupon Board Names Rich Williams CEO
Eric Lefkofsky assumes role as Chairman of the Board
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Rich Williams as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Williams succeeds Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon’s co-founder, who has been Groupon’s CEO since August 2013. Lefkofsky will return to the role of Chairman of the Board, also effective immediately.
Groupon, Inc. announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Rich Williams as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Williams succeeds Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon’s co-founder, who has been Groupon’s CEO since August 2013. Lefkofsky will return to the role of Chairman of the Board, also effective immediately.
“Rich is the right and natural choice for Groupon’s future, and he has the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. We are fully confident we have identified the best leader for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders,” said Ted Leonsis, outgoing Chairman of the Board and newly appointed Lead Independent Director. “Over the last two years, Eric has worked tirelessly for the company and the business is much stronger today because of it.”
“I am honored to be leading the company as Groupon evolves into a daily habit in our customers’ lives,” saidRich Williams. “Under Eric, we made significant strides in establishing our marketplace. That work will continue with a greater focus than ever. As CEO, my top priority is to unlock the long-term growth potential in the business by demonstrating everything the new Groupon has to offer. We have a great team here and I look forward to the opportunities ahead of us.”
During Lefkofsky’s tenure revenue grew 32 percent from $2.3 billion in 2012 to $3.1 billion in 2015 on a trailing-12-month basis, while adjustedEBITDA and Free Cash Flow stabilized.
“Cracking the code in local commerce is not easy. We’ve come a long way in building a leading local commerce marketplace in the last two years,” said Lefkofsky. “With his deep experience in e-commerce — both in and outside of Groupon — and expertise in marketing, operations and technology, Rich was the obvious choice to lead Groupon.”
Williams was appointed Chief Operating Officer in June 2015. Prior to the COO role, Williams was President ofNorth America since 2014, where he worked to solidify Groupon’s playbook in the United States during a critical part of the company’s transition to a full mobile local commerce marketplace. In this role, he helped steer North America to five consecutive quarters of double-digit growth. He joined the company in June 2011as Senior Vice President of Marketing with nearly 20 years of experience.
“I’m assuming the CEO role with three immediate priorities,” Williams said. “First, we will renew our investment in customer acquisition to introduce more new customers to our marketplace and accelerate growth. Second, we will increase our focus on streamlining our international operations to ensure we are operating as lean and efficiently as possible. Finally, we will shift our Shopping category away from lower margin ‘empty calorie’ products to grow a sustainable, healthy Goods business with stronger margins.”