February 10, 2012, 1:02 PM

Groupon hires a new marketing exec

Paul Taaffe will run communications for the daily-deal operator.

Lead Photo

The daily deal company lands a new communications vice president.

Groupon Inc. has hired former chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton Paul Taaffe as its vice president, global communications.

Taaffe was named president of public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in 1998. He was then promoted to chairman and CEO in 2002.

At Groupon he will take over a communications department that has faced a rash of public relations challenges, including a Super Bowl commercial last year that many consumers felt made fun of efforts to alleviate suffering in Tibet, intense scrutiny over its large marketing expenses, unusual accounting practices, and its reported revenue that led it to amend its Securities and Exchange Commission initial public offering documents several times, as well as a leaked memo sent by CEO Andrew Mason to staff that challenged the company’s critics despite the company being in a quiet period ahead of its initial public offering.

The position had been empty since last August when Bradford Williams left after less than three months on the job. Williams’ resignation came just before Mason’s memo leaked.

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