Groupon Director Not Seeking Re-election


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Groupon director not standing for re-election.

Groupon to reduce size of board as one director does not stand for re-election.

Groupon filed its proxy statement with the SEC.  The proxy statement included the news that Mellody Hobson has not been re-nominated and her term as director will expire at Groupon’s next annual meeting.  The board will be reduced from eight to seven.

Ms. Hobson was one of the independent directors, but Groupon will continue to have enough independent directors to satisfy its listing requirements.

Who is Mellody Hobson, you ask?  Let’s let Groupon explain:

“Mellody Hobson has served has served on our Board since June 2011. Ms. Hobson has served as the president and a director of Ariel Investments, LLC, a Chicago-based investment management firm, since 2000, as the chairman since 2006, and as a trustee of the mutual funds it manages since 1993. She previously served as senior vice president and director of marketing at Ariel Capital Management, Inc. from 1994 to 2000, and as vice president of marketing at Ariel Capital Management, Inc. from 1991 to 1994. Ms. Hobson has served as a director of Starbucks, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBUX) since February 2005, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (NASDAQ: DWA) since 2004 (chairman since 2012) and The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (NYSE: EL) since 2004. Ms. Hobson works with a variety of civic and professional institutions, including serving as a director of the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Sundance Institute. Additionally, she is on the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute. Ms. Hobson received her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University. Ms. Hobson brings to the Board significant operational, investment and financial experience and valuable knowledge of corporate governance and similar issues from her service on other publicly-traded companies’ boards of directors as well as her current service on the Securities and Exchange Commission Investment Advisory Committee.”

It seems like something is missing from the bio.  Oh yeah, she is married to George Lucas, of Star Wars fame.

This follows news of Groupon’s Elite Deal Series launch as Groupon tries to right the financial ship.  Groupon lost $88.9 million in 2013, an increase from an $51.0 million loss in 2012.  This was peanuts compared to a $297.8 million loss in 2011.

GRPN shares are down from 11.85/share to start 2014, having closed at $7.37/share at this writing.  Ms. Hobson owned (or had the right to acquire) 74,834 shares of Groupon common stock, worth about $552,000, which is barely a rounding error to the Lucas household.

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