Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Here's the "Goodbye, Groupon COO Rob Solomon" Email, Plus a What-Update

Dear Grouponistas,

In the future, as Yahoos so kindly do, please forward all important internal communications directly to BoomTown. It’s easier than me waiting hours to receive a fat pile of them from those who shall not be named.

Just sayin’!

Such as the “God’s Country” email sent out by Groupon CEO Andrew Mason about the departure of its COO and President Rob Solomon after only a year at the social buying phenom.

Solomon’s leaving was reported here earlier today and the email is below in its entirety.

According to sources, the leaving was a combination of issues, including the Solomon family’s desire to move back to Silicon Valley from Chicago–which is referenced in the email below.

But sources said the bigger reason was a growing feeling by Mason and its board that the former Yahoo exec was not the right person to lead the social buying company into its next phase of growth.

Source added that the search for a replacement for Solomon has been going on for some time, as Groupon has also been contemplating an IPO.

“Groupon needs a ‘Sheryl Sandberg’ type to take it to the next level, since the business is so complex,” said one person, referring to the well-regarded COO of Facebook, who joined CEO and Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at the social networking giant after working in a top operating job at Google.

Here is Mason’s email, which is–as usual–cleverly written, as you will see:

From: Andrew Mason
Date: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 6:15 PM
Subject: Rob Solomon/COO
To: International Email List

Hi everyone,

Rob Solomon joined Groupon just over a year ago, doing what he once considered unimaginable and relocating his family from “God’s Country” in Woodside, CA to Chicago, bringing his experience as a seasoned Internet executive to help us turn Groupon into the next great technology company.

Now, Rob is moving on, taking his family back to God’s Country. During Rob’s tenure, Groupon has grown from 1 country to 44, 200 employees to 6,500, and 3 million subscribers to over 70 million–in no small part due to his contribution. I’ve learned an enormous amount from Rob; Groupon wouldn’t be the same without him.

In the coming months as we find and transition to a new COO, Rob will remain in his position…and he will remain a friend and advisor to the company into perpetuity.

Thanks for everything Rob!

Andrew


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus