Chicago's Internet phenom Groupon is experiencing high turnover to go along with its lackluster stock performance, a market analyst said.
Senior research analyst Edward Woo at Ascendiant Capital Markets said, "The large number of salespeople leaving along with all this turmoil is a bad sign, since low-level salespeople are what drive the revenue and sales of the company."
In less than a year as a public company, Groupon, which arranges online deals for merchants, has seen its stock value fall nearly 75 percent, The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.
Woo added that turnover among lower-level sales staff was one thing, but that coupled with a high turnover among managers spells trouble. "
Employees leaving the company said in the early days Groupon was a charge-ahead firm that made up its own rules as it went along. "During the early stages, it was a freight train going 300 mph," said a former manager who wished to remain anonymous, as he was restricted by a do not disclose order.
"It was extremely motivational to know we were doing something no one had done before. You're making things up as you go along. You help create that," said Peter Anthony Jackson, a former divisional sales manager who left after a three-year stint with the company.
What changed? Five months before the company went public, new managers were brought in and the sales went from an innovative division to "a factory process," Jackson said.
Among those who recently parted ways with the company are Lee Brown, who was in charge of national sales and Jayna Cooke, the salesperson who landed Groupon's first national deals, the newspaper said.
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