News Column

Groupon Co-founder Andrew Mason Starts New Company

May 17, 2013

Groupon co-founder and former Chief Executive Andrew Mason is heading to San Francisco to work with entrepreneurs and launch a new company.

The former CEO announced on his personal blog that he's "accumulated a backlog of ideas over the last several years" and will be turning his favorite one into a company this fall. He will also be joining startup accelerator program Y Combinator as a part-time partner, advising participants one day a week. Mason is one of five part-time partners joining Y Combinator, the incubator announced on Thursday.

Reached by phone, Mason confirmed the move to San Francisco via text message but declined to comment further.

Mason was fired from Groupon in late February and replaced by two directors, Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis. The board has formed a special committee to search for Mason's replacement, but Leonsis has said there is no rush to finding a new permament CEO.

Mason said he and his wife will move to San Francisco "later this summer" but will keep their current home and expect to return for visits. They bought a house in Evanston last year.

"Chicago is developing quickly as a technology hub, and I hope to continue to find ways to support the amazing community of entrepreneurs here," Mason wrote.

Mason, who has a degree in music from Northwestern University, added that he recorded a seven-song album of "motivational business music" in Los Angeles earlier this month. The tunes are written for young people just entering the workforce and should be released "as soon as I figure out how to load music onto iTunes," he said.

The previous months have been spent traveling, losing weight and "other cliched pursuits of the unemployed," Mason wrote. He did not mention contributing to FWD.us, a political advocacy group launched by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April to push for comprehensive immigration reform. Mason is a contributor to FWD.us along with such marquee technology names as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Meanwhile, Mason has returned to his oft-neglected Twitter feed, ruminating on hot and sour soup ("Should just be called 'sour soup'") and being friends with Donald Rumsfeld.


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