The ousted CEO might have a future in music
When Andrew Mason was relieved of his duties as CEO of deal-finding site Groupon, he faced some life decisions: his worth was damaged due to him mainly being paid in shares, which were down 80% - hence his dismissal. You could be forgiven for thinking he was at a loose end.
Loose end? No: he went right back onto Groupon, found a deal for an acoustic guitar and penned a soft rock album, ironically named Hardly Workin’. Alright so he didn’t get a deal on a guitar, but the more ridiculous bit – the soft rock album – that’s all true. “Executives, mid-level management and front-line employees are all sure to find valuable takeaways,” Mr Mason wrote of the album. “I’ve probably listened to the album over a dozen times now, and with each spin I feel like I learn something.”
For Mason, his songs are best used as motivational tools to rally the Groupon troops. “I was climbing Machu Picchu/As I beheld the splendid view/An idea came for 100 million/Of shareholder value,” goes one of his tunes. “Try ending your next all-hands meeting with It’s Up to Us, for example,” he says. It’s Up To Us contains the lyrics: “We’ve got the customer/Critical mass/The market positioning. Now THAT will galvanise staff at a meeting, but it might not be in the same way that Mason intended.
But why not release a soft rock album? Not everyone can be at the cutting edge of cool – penning ironic poems and wearing funny shirts. After all, Mason clearly has a sense of humour, which is evidenced by the ‘resignation’ letter he wrote after being sacked. “After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why . . . you haven’t been paying attention,” the letter said.