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$GRPN’s CEO Given the Old Heave-Ho

Groupon CEO Andrew Mason was handed a pink slip Thursday, fired after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results along with a dim outlook.

“After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today,” Mason said in an email to employees announcing his departure.

“If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention,” he added. (Read the full text of the email below.)

Groupon shares shot up more than 10 percent following the news. What’s the stock doing now? Click here for the latest after-hours quote.

The stock has fallen more than 75 percent since its November 2011 IPO. In regular trading Thursday, the stock fell 25 percent after the disappointing fourth-quarter results came out late Wednesday.

The results revealed that the company has had to slash its fees from merchants to grow its business and that its new Groupon Goods business would decline in the first quarter. Mason was so confident on the earnings call, he drew criticism of being entirely out of touch. Twenty-four hours later the guillotine fell….”

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