Groupon fires founder Andrew Mason, shares rise

The Groupon logo is displayed in the lobby of the company's international headquarters on June 10, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois.

Groupon, a website for online deals, announced Thursday it has fired founder and CEO Andrew Mason.

Shares in the stock rose 4 percent in after-hours trading after the announcement, which had been anticipated for months, according to CBS' Marketwatch.

The stock closed Thursday at $4.53. It had previously lost about 77 percent of its IPO value.

The announcement came a day after Groupon reported a weak outlook for the current quarter, the AP reported.

The New York Times said chairman and co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis will replace him on an interim basis until a new replacement is found.

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Mason, who currently owns about 7 percent of the company's stock, still will remain a presence there, according to the Times.

Upon leaving, Mason sent a candid letter to employees: "After four and a half intense and wonderful years as C.E.O. of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today."