How Leadership Changes Will Impact Groupon

Leadership at the head of any company is incredibly important, and clearly companies want the best minds in these positions. At times the company and the people who reside within these positions have to reevaluate where they are and where they want to go. Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is now finding itself in this position as leadership is changing.

The company announced that it has just named a new chief operating officer. Rich Williams will take over the position and oversee Groupon’s global businesses and operations. Currently, Williams serves as the President of North America and will continue to do so while adding the responsibility for international regions.

Williams joined Groupon in 2011, first serving as Groupon’s chief marketing officer. He has overseen some of the largest online marketing programs in the world and the analytics and technology that power them. Prior to joining Groupon, he held a variety of marketing and leadership roles at Amazon and Experian.

Eric Lefkofsky, chief executive of Groupon, said:

Rich has been integral in steering our North American local business to three consecutive quarters of double-digit growth and helping to lead Groupon’s transformation to a mobile commerce marketplace. As North America continues to be the leading edge of our tools, systems and processes, Rich is perfectly positioned to bring that operational leverage to our international markets.

However, the chief financial officer, Jason Child, is resigning and will leave the company come the end of July. Brian Kayman, the current vice president of tax and treasury, was named interim chief financial officer, effective immediately.

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The company also announced that its board of directors approved a $200 million increase to its previous $300 million share repurchase program. The additional authorization will be effective immediately and continue through August in 2017.

At the same time, Groupon reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance. The company expects earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $0.01 to 0.03 and revenue in the range of $700 million to $750 million. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates of $0.03 in EPS on $739.61 million in revenue.

Shares of Groupon closed Tuesday down %4% at $6.03. In early trading Wednesday, shares of Groupon fell 4.7% to $5.74. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $8.60 and a 52-week trading range of $5.56 to $8.43.

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