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Groupon appoints Rich Williams as CEO, with a promise to refocus in the US

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(Credit: MoneyTimes) The Groupon logo is engraved in a glass office partition in the company's international headquarters on June 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Groupon, a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants and consumers by offering goods and services at a discount, announced June 2 that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A common stock.Groupon
November 5
2:29 AM 2015

Deal service Groupon announced Tuesday that it has promoted Rich Williams as the chief executive of the company replacing co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, who is now back to his role as the chairman.

According to a published report from Bloomberg Business, Williams served as a Chief Operating Officer since June after being the president for the North America operation for a brief time. Williams lead Groupon's North American business to double-digit increases for five consecutive quarters. Meanwhile, Lefkofsky lead the company since 2013 after the company removed co-founder Andrew Mason. Lefkofsky is responsible for turning the company from a daily deals providers into the online marketplace that it is today. He also reduced the company's stake abroad by cutting cost and refocusing the operations in the US. Williams said he will continue Lefkofsky's strategy by streamlining international operations and even cut some jobs.

"We're still doing too many things in too many places at once," said Williams in an interview with Tech Crunch. "We need to be willing to walk away from things that just aren't doing well," he said.

According to Williams, Groupon should think differently regarding its consumer electronics-focused shopping business, saying it should have a healthier product mix that has higher margins. Meanwhile, Lefkofsky endorsed Williams saying, "It was apparent to me and the rest of the board that he was a natural successor."

The Wall Street Journal writes that Williams told analysts that the company plans to spend $150 million to $200 million more each year in marketing to increase business in the US and other key markets like Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Australia. Officials said they are reconsidering expanding to other markets such as China, India, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Officials expect Groupon's revenue to reach $2.75 billion to $3.05 billion in 2016. This is a bit less than 2015's projected revenue of $3.02 billion to $3.07 billion. Meanwhile, the company reported revenue of $3.19 billion in 2014.

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