In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, a co-founder of the daily-deal operator and Groupon rival, says the time is right for a new perspective. Amazon is a part-owner of LivingSocial.
LivingSocial Inc., the daily-deal operator that competes with Groupon Inc. and is partially owned by Amazon.com Inc., has lost its CEO.
Tim O’Shaughnessy, also a LivingSocial co-founder, announced his resignation today via the company blog. He says he will step down “later this year” but gave no date. He says he expects LivingSocial to hire a new CEO within the first half of 2014.
“We now have the most stable and healthy business that we have ever had, and the luxury of having hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank to take us to the next level,” O’Shaughnessy writes. “I’ve given much thought to the many opportunities that stand in front of us and the benefits that could come from a new perspective and a new voice and approach at the top to lead us there.”
Nearly a year ago, Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO and founder, stepped down from his job after Groupon reported a quarterly net loss of $81.1 million. Groupon, which has moved beyond the discount vouchers it’s famous for to the sale of physical merchandise online, is No. No. 65 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide. Amazon, which owns approximately 31% of LivingSocial, is No. 1. Amazon last year wrote down $169 million of its stake in LivingSocial, reflecting consumer fatigue with daily e-mail offers.
In September, LivingSocial said it wanted to move away from offering time-sensitive promotions, and introduce tools and services merchants can use to monitor and analyze consumers’ responses to campaigns both on and off LivingSocial.
Rival Groupon has achieved considerable success in expanding beyond vouchers that offer consumers discounts on restaurant meals, entertainment, spa visits, retail purchases and other consumer goods and services. Its direct-to-consumer Groupon Goods division took in $454.7 million in revenue in 2012, up more than 2,000% from the previous year, according to the Top 500.