The vice president of global communications at Groupon has left the company after just two months on the job.According to a source familiar with one view of the situation, Bradford Williams left due to the way the company has responded to its critics during the “quiet period” ahead of its initial public offering.
Williams himself declined to comment other than to say: “We mutually decided it wasn’t a fit.”
A Groupon spokesperson confirmed that they “mutually agreed to part ways.”
In the many weeks since it filed papers with the SEC outlining its financials and announcing its intention to go public, Groupon has taken a beating in the press. First, critics complained about Groupon’s unconventional accounting metrics, which seemed to count marketing spending as a capital cost. Then, we pointed out that Groupon is running low on cash.
Last week, Groupon CEO and cofounder Andrew Mason wrote a memo to employees responding to the company’s outside critics point-by-point. In what felt like an orchestrated plant, the memo found its way online.
This leaked memo may have violated SEC’s “quiet period” rules, which are intended to prevent pump-and-dump scams.
According to a source familiar with one view of the situation, Mason’s decision to write and send this memo is indicative of the kind of decision-making at Groupon that led Williams to walk away.
Says that source: “Andrew and [Williams] didn’t agree on a lot—[they had] different views on lots of things.”
“Do the maths. [Williams] walked out of there last Wednesday. The first thing [Mason] did was send out that memo—which [Williams] would have advised strenuously against.”
Another source says Williams’ date of departure was Monday, August 22.
We’d like to thank Owen Thomas and Kara Swisher for their tweets that first tipped us to this story.