Groupon

Groupon: Up 88% in first post-Mason year

February 28, 2014: 11:05 AM ET

It's been one year since Groupon fired its idiosyncratic founder. And things are looking up (with a long way to go).

FORTUNE -- One year ago today, Groupon (GRPN) founder Andrew Mason announced via blog post that he had been fired as the daily deal company's CEO. Since then, the company's stock is up nearly 88%:

grpn

To be sure, it's not exactly a turnaround. The company is still well below its $20 per share IPO price, let alone its all-time high of $26.19 on November 14, 2011.

But an 88% bump is still impressive, so this morning I asked Groupon board member Peter Barris to identify the most valuable chance Groupon has made over the past year. His reply about stabilizing the Chicago-based company's international business, which was plummeting (over a combination of poor strategy and pricing pressure).  It wasn't a terribly surprising comment to those who have followed Groupon, but was interesting in light of something else Barris said about the company's early days:

"We would tell Andrew that he'd done great in Chicago, but he'd get frustrated when we'd ask him for how he was going to expand to four markets," Barris said. "And then he'd come up with that plan, and we'd ask him about getting to 8 or 15 markets... What we had to keep explaining to him was that scale would be his competitive advantage."

As for Mason, he went on to record an album of motivational business songs. No word yet on if he's planning another startup.

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