Two senior executives at Groupon, Daniel Glasner and Philipp Magin, have announced their departure from the couponing deals group, adding to the recent troubles of the company.
Glasner was an original co-founder of CityDeal, the Samwer-backed Groupon clone that was bought over by Groupon in 2010 for a $150-million deal, before taking a position at Groupon as Eastern European CEO.
Magin is listed as CEO and International VP at Groupon Germany, having previously had the title of Co-founder and Managing Director. The executives, both McKinsey graduates, are said to be looking to “jointly pursue their entrepreneurial passion,” according to an internal mail.
Glasner and Magin – subjects of controversy
Both men have been the subject of recent controversy and accusations of “slavedriving” and questionable management techniques. According to a series of leaked emails to Vertical Media, disgruntled executives stated that:
“Philipp Magin and Daniel Glasner have zero experience in Sales, and behave like slavedrivers”
Glasner himself is thought to have sent out two group emails that threatened to strip senior employees of their Director title if they didn’t meet a series of unattainable KPIs.
Samwer exit and staff shakeups
The news of their departure comes after an announcement in April that Marc Samwer would step down as Groupon’s international head. The oldest of the three Samwer brothers will be staying on in an advisory capacity only.
So why the staff shakups? Groupon appears to be navigating some troubled waters in 2012. There has been an accounting controversy at the beginning of the year, as the company had to restate its earnings after it was discovered it had understated its operating expenses.
And in the UK, the company came under fire for breaching advertising codes a record 50 times, resulting in an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.
The new guard – can they turn Groupon’s fortunes around?
Glasner and Magin will be replaced by Jens Hutzschenreuter, Vice President of Sales USA, and Tobias Teuber, currently Groupon Managing Director in Australia respectively. Samwer is replaced by Austrian Veit Dengler, who has held previous senior executive positions at Dell, T-Mobile, McKinsey and Procter & Gamble.
Hutzschenreuter and Teuber will be responsible for post-IPO tasks including handling the negative headlines, and convincing customers and investors that the Groupon business model is still worth investing in, while Dengler is tasked with driving new growth.
The new triumvirate face a difficult task– recent share values have fallen from an all-time high of $31.14, to a low of $8.80. Currently the price is $10.34, only slightly above its all-time low.