Groupon's fired CEO Mason: the high and lowlights

SAN FRANCISCO: Andrew Mason signed off from the company he founded in his usual style: unconventional, colourful, full of humour and more than a little wacky.

His letter to employees after being fired from Groupon Inc on Thursday became an instant hit on Twitter, garnering props for its self-deprecating style.

But it should come as no surprise to anyone who knew of Mason's penchant for the weird and wacky.

Here are a few of his famous public mentions:


Mason tells the New York Times he would talk "only if you want to talk about my other passion, building miniature dollhouses." — Mason declining an interview request from the newspaper in November 2010, on Google's bid to buy the company.

Cat hat

In a photo for a 2011 profile in Vanity Fair magazine, the Northwestern University graduate posed with a portly cat sitting on his head.

Beer belly

Mason was reported to have been gulping from a beer bottle while he set corporate goals, including boosting financial controls, during an employees' meeting. At one point during the closed-door meeting, his voice broke and he said, "Sorry, too much beer." — The Wall Street Journal reporting last April on the employee meeting.

Gifting the pony

Mason purchased a spotted pony, named Spice, to give New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he visited Groupon's Chicago headquarters. — From a 2011 Vanity Fair profile.

Death stare

The tight-faced and comical "death stare" he gave at AllThingsD's conference in 2011 to avoid any questions on Groupon's IPO. The company filed its IPO registration statement the next day.

Yoga in underwear

A video uploaded to YouTube in 2008 is widely believed to show Mason doing Yoga in his underwear — something Mason he has never publicly denied. The widely cited video comes with a comment: "I'm appalled that an industry has grown around teaching a practice as wholesome and spiritual as yoga, so I decided to create my own free video to help people get started."


"If there's any difference between me and a traditional CEO it's that I've been unwilling to change myself or shape my personality around what is expected." Mason in an interview on 60 Minutes in January 2012, shortly after taking Groupon public. — Reuters

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