Online coupon firm company Groupon has elected Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks Coffee, to its board amid media reports that it is preparing for an initial public offering in the spring.
Groupon says a venture capital firm founded by Schultz has invested in the company alongside the appointment.
Groupon announced that it has just appointed Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz, to its board of directors. This comes along with the news that Maveron, Schultz’ venture capital firm is also investing in the Chicago based coupon site.
Schultz joined Starbucks as director of marketing in 1982 and acquired the company in 1987. After an extended absence he returned in 2008 to pick up his position as CEO.
Andrew Mason, founder and chief executive of Groupon said: “As CEO of one of the world’s most iconic brands, Howard is an invaluable addition to the Groupon board. His experience in building the culture and business of Starbucks and his relentless focus on innovation to improve customer experiences brings a unique combination of skills to our Board of Directors.”
Groupon also said that that Schultz joins Mason along with co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, Peter Barris, Kevin Efrusy and Ted Leonsis on the board., while John Walter, Harry Weller and Jason Fried will be stepping down.
Shultz commented via spokesperson, said:“Andrew Mason and his team have created an innovative company that creates win-win solutions for business and consumers. Groupon has amazing opportunities ahead, and I’m looking forward to joining the Board at this early stage of its history.”
Private companies typically add outsiders to their boards before going public.
Professional social networking site LinkedIn Corp. last month said it planned to raise at least $175 million in an IPO, paving the way for the long-awaited IPOs of other websites that help people connect with each other.
Reports of an IPO come after Groupon rejected a $6 billion takeover offer from Google Inc. last year and privately raised $950 million in January to fund its expansion.
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