November 28, 2012 / 5:34 PM / 8 years ago

Groupon CEO Mason says he would "fire myself" if needed

Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason (L) prepares for the opening bell ceremony celebrating his company's IPO at the Nasdaq Market in New York November 4, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Groupon Inc (GRPN.O) CEO Andrew Mason, under fire for a plunging share price and tapering growth, said on Wednesday he would agree to step down if needed, as the struggling company’s board prepared to debate on Thursday whether he remains the right leader.

Groupon has shed four-fifths of its value since its public trading debut as an investor darling during last year’s consumer dotcom IPO boom. Wall Street has grown uneasy about the viability of its business as fever for daily deals has cooled among consumers and merchants, hurting its growth rate.

Mason, responding to reports that the board of directors will discuss his performance during a regular Thursday meeting, said it would be “weird” if they did not.

“It would be more noteworthy if the board wasn’t discussing whether I’m the right guy for the job,” Mason said in an interview from a Business Insider conference.

“If I ever thought I wasn’t the right person for the job, I’d be the first person to fire myself.”

Europe has been a particular problem for Groupon, partly because the sovereign debt crisis has sapped demand for higher-priced deals. Groupon was also offering steeper discounts, turning off some European merchants.

Adding to its difficulties, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Groupon’s accounting and disclosures, areas that raised questions among some during its IPO.

Reporting By Liana Baker; Editing by David Gregorio

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