Sede vacante: Groupon and the Vatican

The internal memo from former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason seems timely, considering that today marks the first full day of another prominent CEO’s resignation.

That other chief executive is no longer on Twitter, but if he wants to send out one final email to his employees, he might use Mason’s final message as a template, coming up with something like this:

People of Groupon the Roman Catholic Church,

After four and a half nearly eight intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon the pope, Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Jesus Christ, and Successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family.

Reuters photo by Max Rossi

Just kidding — I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, “intellectual collapse in the West, the stench of moral corruption revealed by the decades of child-rape and cover-ups, and the resort to the crudest forms of authority and reactionaryism in response to new ideas, discoveries and truths about human nature” the events of the last year and a half seven years speak for themselves. As CEO Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon in the Church, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO pope earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – It’s time to give Groupon the body of Christ a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be — I love Groupon the Church, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon the Vatican was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play through. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion that’s what George and I like to call it these days), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer laity, the poor and the oppressed. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers all of God’s children. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness seek first the kingdom — don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.

Andrew Joe

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  •  Did he even try to? That’s my concern. Realistically he can’t bring about peace on Earth or affect things that go beyond the scope of the Catholic Church’s authority, but I haven’t heard him do anything to reform the Church’s treatment of the weak and dependent at all.

    All he did was strengthen the power of the papacy (after John Paul II let it lapse due to his own physical infirmity) and do some tweaking on some doctrinal stuff that might be hugely important to theological scholars and fans of Vatican bureaucracy but is basically meaningless to the people who were hurt by his predecessors’ inaction and corruption.

    I just don’t see any value to his work. Not only does it fail to net out against the bad things he did, I actually don’t think that he, personally, did anything truly positive for the world with his tenure. The Catholic Church may have done some good works at the time but those things were largely handled by lower-ranking officials and would have been the same no matter who was Pope.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s a lot easier to prove reasonable doubt, though, and in the case of something like this, you run into Army of Lawyers Syndrome. Sometimes an air-tight case splutters and dies simply because one of the parties goes bankrupt while waiting for a chance to speak while the other side’s five lawyers call in their fiftieth nonessential witness.

    Monsanto is very fond of this method of winning arguments.

  • Ken

     You’re quite right, the Hitler Youth stuff was unnecessary because, after all, child rape.  Besides, it’ll be easy for the cardinals to find someone who wasn’t a Nazi, or even a member of the Inquisition.

  • Lliira

    Ya know, I thought about defending myself. And then I thought, why the heck should I have to defend myself for something I in no way said?

  • Lliira

    Thanks. And please refer to me with feminine pronouns. I’m a “she”, not a “zie”.

  • AnonymousSam

    Apologies. That’s what I thought, but short-term memory fail, thought “better safe than sorry.” And here I am apologizing anyway. XD

    (Doesn’t help that my own gender identification, even when I’m not under anonymity, is “complicated.”)