A few days ago Andrew Mason, a founder of Groupon, sent a letter to his employees saying that he is fired from his CEO position at Groupon. You can read more about it in Time.com article.
This news didn’t surprise many. Since their initial stellar growth a few years ago Groupon recently failed to grow any further and increase profitability. One of the main criticism of the Groupon business is their failure to use their massive data to target their business more efficiently.
Therefor many users were tired of floods of deals which were not personalized enough. The writer of this article having some personal experience working with Groupon and selling vouchers for his local business can definitely confirm this problem.
Of course there are many other reasons why the Groupon business is stagnating but here we would like to point out certain characteristics of Andrew Mason to help us paint a better picture of the overall situation.
We looked into his chart to see whether it holds some clues, and it surely does.
Andrew Mason is an extremely resourceful and creative person, with a good business mind. He is a so called creative entrepreneur, a person able to generate ideas and turn them into a massive scale business. Forbes also wrote about him recently stating: “Mason did what great founders do: he innovated and he built.”
So, what Mason is desperately lacking is leadership skills and authority over people, represented by his wood element which is very weak. We can also see this in the way he was handling the whole situation, he didn’t expect to be hired as CEO anywhere else again. Due to lack of wood he is bit uncontrollable, therefore he is running wild, when it comes to day to day management. This translates in that the Groupon board is actually unable to put Mason on the track where they want him to be and he does not feel comfortable with management positions.
He is the type of person who is not able to work for somebody, who have to stay in control of their own business, hire somebody to run it or simply leave once they have build it. From his chart we can also see that he is a great strategist, but someone who prefers working behind the scene. Being a person in center stage is not really his thing.
The years 2010, 2011 and 2012, Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon were strong in wood, therefore he was able to bring this Groupon to great success, but once we entered the fire year, Snake, his luck disappeared so it is no surprise that he got fired just 3 weeks after we entered Snake year.
He is born in a Monkey year and Monkeys are known for their need for creative freedom. They do not handle well people who are looking over their shoulders.
Last year, Water Dragon, was very difficult for him, it emphasized the clash between Dragon and Dog in his chart. Therefore we noticed how his power and influence drastically decreased during that time.
This is a typical case when a person is not aware of his strengths and weaknesses and how far he can go with a certain project and how to structure the management. His best choice would have been to sell the company and pursue new projects and ideas, leaving the day to day business to more suited people.