Groupon CEO warns young executives to 'beware of the limelight'

Groupon CEO: We had to make tough choices

Groupon CEO Rich Williams is warning other young companies to "beware of the limelight."

"It can be a real distraction, especially when hype is built up around a company," Williams told CNBC in an interview on 'Squawk on The Street' on Friday. It can take those companies' focus away from long-term goals and what they need to do, he said.

Williams' advice for maturing companies would be to: stay "laser focused" on long-term strategies and to make monetization off users a top priority — especially for those businesses centered around creating social content.

Williams used Facebook as an example of a company that has been a "success story" in this space. "[Facebook] made monetization — advertising — a first-class citizen. They care about it just as deeply as users."

Groupon reported strong quarterly earnings on Wednesday, sending shares rising more than 22 percent. The company posted revenue of $934.9 million for the quarter, beating a Thompson Reuters consensus estimate of $912.8 million. The report showed a considerable increase year-over-year, when revenue was reported at $917.2 million. Earnings per share were reported at $0.07, also beating the estimate of $0.02.

—CNBC's Michelle Castillo contributed to this report.