Deals

Groupon’s board plays musical chairs as stock drops

Groupon’s board of directors is playing musical chairs as the downtrodden daily deals company attempts to address fallout from an accounting restatement that sent its stock price plummeting.

The company, now trading at more than 60 percent off its initial offering, announced Monday that American Express CFO Daniel Henry and Deloitte vice chairman Robert Bass are joining Groupon’s board.

Henry is replacing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who stepped down from Groupon’s board of directors on April 24. Bass will replace Kevin Efrusy of Accel Partners, who will leave his post as of Groupon’s shareholder meeting on June 19.

The swap-a-roo is Groupon’s attempt to self-correct after a revised fourth quarter earnings report that did more than raise a few eyebrows.

One month ago, Groupon informed shareholders that, due to yet another accounting snafu, revenue for Q4 2011 was $14.3 million less than it initially indicated. The restatement was not received well and shareholders who felt misled responded in turn with both a class action lawsuit and a derivative complaint. The latter suit specifically named both Schultz and Efrusy, along with other board members, as defendants in breach of their fiduciary duty to Groupon and its shareholders.

Henry and Bass add financial credibility to Groupon’s board. Bass, who will retire from Deloitte before his appointment, is said to have specialized in one area where the deals company could certainly use some help: SEC filings. Henry, meanwhile, has worked at American Express since 1990 and has served as the company’s CFO for more than four years. He was previously a partner at Ernst & Young.

“With their deep financial, accounting and operational experience, Dan and Bob will provide invaluable expertise to the Board going forward,” Groupon chairman Eric Lefkofsky said in a statement.

Groupon closed at $10.71 per share Monday afternoon, but its stock price is trading up roughly 2 percent in after-hours trading following news of the board shakeup. Valued as high as $17.8 billion on its first day of trading, Groupon’s market capitalization now stands at $6.83 billion.

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