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Report: Groupon CEO Says Company Is Still Growing Impressively

The logo for Chicago's Groupon. (Groupon.com)

The logo for Chicago’s Groupon. (Groupon.com)

kridel250 Kris Kridel
Kris Kridel is midday co-anchor and co-host of WBBM’s Noon Business...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The chief executive officer of Chicago-based Groupon is defending his company and his leadership.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Kris Kridel reports, Andrew Mason tells the Chicago Tribune that Groupon has the opportunity to be the world’s first marketplace for local commerce, in the same way Amazon is the marketplace for retail commerce.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Kris Kridel reports

Even with the company’s stock some 80 percent below its initial price offering – shares closed Friday at $4.27 – Mason tells the Tribune that Groupon is growing 45 percent year-over-year, and says “most companies would kill” for that kind of growth.

Mason tells the Tribune he is confident in his leadership and executive team.

Groupon was hailed as a new direction for commerce in its earliest days.

In 2009, when Groupon was still a startup, Mason told CBS 2, “This is a win-win because we provide customers and businesses with what they want. Businesses want a lot of new customers and customers want a great deal.”

But more recently, the company has made headlines for not-so-rosy reasons, after it reworked its fourth quarter financial statement to include lower profits.

Groupon originally disclosed fourth-quarter losses totaling about $37 million — but subsequent revision showed that number fell short of actual losses by more than $22 million.

Critics say the company has weak financial controls and faulty internal procedures.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an informal review of the revision, company stock plummeted to an all-time low and shareholder Fan Zhang filed a federal suit claiming the company “failed to disclose negative trends” that would have affected its IPO pricing of 35 million shares of common stock at $20 per share.