Typically, when CEOs are ousted from the businesses they founded, they go “spend more time” with their families, take up a hobby like yachting or move immediately on to the next company they can try not to drive into the ground. Not so for former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, who was fired earlier this year. Though he’s going to join Y Combinator as an advisor, Mr. Mason has another trick up his sleeve: dropping an album, of course.
Quinn Norton speaks out on what life inside the Aaron Swartz investigation was like. “This will not be the final word on Aaron’s story, nor is it intended to be. Two years later, these are the events as I remember them, and the feelings as I knew them.” [The Atlantic]
Former dotcom millionaire Jennifer Sultan plead guilty to selling prescription drugs and conspiring to sell a firearm in exchange for four years in prison on Friday. Ms. Sultan, who sold her company Live Online during the first boom, burned through her fortune after becoming addicted to prescription pain killers. Let this be a cautionary tale for bubble 2.0. [New York Times]
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz took to Rap Genius this weekend to decode Andrew Mason’s goodbye letter. Swag? [TechCrunch]
If you got an email this weekend from Evernote that it had reset your password, that’s because the company suffered a major security breach. [The Verge]
SpaceX Dragon has successfully docked at the International Space Station, which is great because we don’t really need any more griping from Elon Musk right now. [Ars Technica]
“What’s just depressing to me is how—and it’s not just for us, let me generalize it—the moment a company goes public the conversation shifts from how they’re trying to change the world and the product they’re building to how they’re making money.” Andrew Mason probably wasn’t ready to be the CEO of a publicly traded company. [Fast Company]
Meanwhile, at TED: Vint Cerf is dreaming of a day when we can use the Internet to communicate with aliens. Dude must make it a point to believe six impossible things before breakfast. [Gizmodo]
Former Gilt CEO Susan Lyne is now Brand Group CEO at AOL. Resident enfant terrible Alexia Tsotsis published the memo and added, ”As far as we can tell, Arianna, with her Hellenic iron fist, has retained her dominion over the HuffPost stronghold, and we’ll continue to push the boundaries of what we can do until we get fired.” Noted! [TechCrunch]
In other shuffles, Federated Media founder John Battelle is once more CEO of the blog network that he founded, taking over for Deanna Brown, who is leaving for an unspecified new project. [Forbes]
Apple Fellow Guy Kawasaki is now advising Motorola. [Android Authority]
IP Uh Oh
Rumors of Andrew Mason’s imminent demise as Groupon CEO started swirling back in November, but the bubble officially burst today following Groupon’s “disastrous” financial report.
Yesterday, in response to question about how the numbers would affect Mr. Mason, Groupon spokesperson Paul Taaffee told Bloomberg, “He’s here today.” He was speaking literally.
Groupon just announced that Mr. Mason is being replaced. The company has named a “newly created Office of the Chief Executive,” led by executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis, who will “serve in this role on an interim basis.”
Speaking at TED, Sergey Brin called the smartphone user experience “emasculating,” on the basis that ”You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass.” Maybe Google that word when you get home, Sergey. [CNET]
Could perennial concerns about cancer keep Google Glass from realizing its full potential as a wearable communication device? [Quartz]
Groupon didn’t do so hot in Q4, causing a big drop in the company’s stock in after-hours trading. ”The forecast is underwhelming,” said one analyst. No kidding. [Reuters]
Time Warner Cable is pretty sure you don’t even want gigabit Internet. Because when you think “attentive to customer desires,” you think Time Warner Cable. [Verge]
I.B.M. is still figuring out money-making uses for the supercomputer Watson. Besides all the big data applications, he apparently makes a mean croissant. [New York Times]
king of new york?
For a city that has wears its ambition to become a technology hub on its sleeve, New York lacks those coveted billion dollar exits that lend credibility to the ecosystem and help buttress the ever-multiplying ranks of startups.
Obama just signed into law a bill that makes it legal for Netflix to share what you watch on your Facebook page (provided you give them the okay, of course). [Gizmodo]
Yikes: CNET was forced to withdraw a “Best of CES” award by its parent company, CBS, which is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Dish, the company that makes the product in question. [Buzzfeed]
Hey, Groupon stock is trading at double its all-time low! Before anyone breaks out the champagne, that’s around $5.20. [TNW]
GM is hiring a thousand high-tech workers–software developers, database experts, etc.–for a new “innovation center” in a suburb of Atlanta. [Wall Street Journal]
“We’re fucked. These guys don’t want to take over our land—they want to come over and take our water and go back. They like where they are.” [AllThingsD]
And it seemed like British politicians had let the internet off the hook in crafting proposed regulations to reign in the unruly U.K. press. Not so fast. Policy directors from Google and Facebook have been summoned to appear before Parliament next week. [Tech Crunch]
Twice yearly, Google releases data on government requests to remove Read More
Bet you thought the next big story in the ailing daily deals business was going to be Andrew Mason’s ouster. And yet, it’s a competitor making headlines: Bloomberg News reports that LivingSocial has laid off 400 of its 4,500 employees. That’s about 9 percent of its staff, for those keeping score at home.
What’s a young CEO to do amid rumors that he may soon be relieved of his duties? Hunker down and lobby privately for an extended tenure? Or sit for a public interview on the subject of his imminent demise?
That was the question from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason faced this week, as gossip swirled Read More