UPDATE 1-Groupon replaces CEO Andrew Mason, looks for new chief
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Groupon Inc replaced Andrew Mason as chief executive officer on Thursday, a day after posting dismal quarterly results, and appointed co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and board member Ted Leonsis as interim chief executives.
The daily deals company said on Thursday it has begun a search for a new CEO to lead the company, which is battling a crumbling share price, an ailing European business and cooling demand for the Internet coupons it specializes in.
Shares in the company rose 8 percent to $4.90 in after-hours trade, from a close of $4.53 on the Nasdaq. It has now lost three quarters of its value since its November 2011 initial public offering at $20.
Speculation mounted in 2012 that the board was considering firing Mason as the share price headed stubbornly south.
In November, Mason said: "If I ever thought I wasn't the right guy for the job, I'd be the first person to fire myself."
"As the founder and creator of Groupon, as a large shareholder ..., I care far more about the success of the business than I do about my role as CEO," Mason said at the Business Insider's Ignite conference in New York.
The company's stock closed 24 percent lower on Thursday after the daily deals company posted a surprise quarterly loss, partly because it took a smaller cut of revenue from merchants offering holiday season discounts.