Czech investor becomes new CEO of Chicago-based Groupon

Dušan Šenkypl of Pale Fire Capital has been appointed interim CEO of the U.S. e-commerce platform, which has seen significant recent losses. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.04.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 02.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech investor Dušan Šenkypl of Pale Fire Capital has been named interim CEO of Groupon, the company announced this weekend. Šenkypl will assume the role immediately and run the company out of Prague, where Pale Fire, Groupon's largest shareholder, is based.

“Since he joined the board, Dušan has been very engaged as a director, providing important oversight on Groupon’s strategy and strengths and helping the company identify areas in need of improvement,” Groupon chair Ted Leonsis states in a press release.

Once a global leader in daily deals e-commerce, Groupon went public in 2011 with a $17.8 billion (CZK 385 billion) market cap. Today, that market cap has plunged 99.4 percent down to $103 million (CZK 2.2 billion).

Groupon CEO Dušan Šenkypl. Photo: Pale Fire Capital
Groupon CEO Dušan Šenkypl. Photo: Pale Fire Capital

Groupon still has 14 million active users, but has been in steady decline over the past decade. Since last August, Groupon has laid off about 30 percent of its workforce, around 1,000 employees.

Now, the Chicago-based company will be run from the Czech Republic under its interim CEO. Šenkypl has held one of two seats owned by Pale Fire on Groupon's board. He has plenty of work ahead as the company attempts to change its trajectory.

“I have a deep appreciation for the dedication that has gone into building this company and am honored to guide Groupon through its transformation and turnaround,” the Czech investor says through a press release.

“With unique local inventory, over 14 million active local customers and millions of visitor sessions per month, Groupon has valuable assets capable of fueling significant growth when paired with operational excellence."

"I am excited to build on that foundation to further scale the company’s marketplace and drive increased value for all stakeholders. I have built multiple businesses from the ground up that operated at scale with hundreds of millions of users, and I believe I know what we need to do at Groupon to take the company to the next level.”

While Groupon has presence worldwide, it never breached the Czech market, where companies inspired by the US brand such as Slevomat rose to prominence instead. Prague-based Pale Fire Capital, meanwhile, recently identified Slevomat as an inspiration for where Groupon can go in the future.

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