Boss of Starbucks quits board of Groupon

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The Independent Online

Howard Schultz, the boss of coffee chain Starbucks, has quit the board of Groupon, the fledgling daily deals company that has been embroiled in accounting problems since its flotation last year.

Mr Schultz, whose personal investment firm took a stake in Groupon in its very earliest days, said he would focus on "other time commitments". His exit, along with another board member, venture capitalist Kevin Efrusy, sent Groupon shares down 10 per cent in the final minutes of trading last night.

The company has lost 45 per cent of its value since floating in November. Founded in Chicago three-and-a-half years ago, it has grown into a global internet sensation which emails 150 million people a day with money-off coupons for local merchants. Last month, it had to restate its post-flotation financial results and warned it might not meet legal accounting standards for public companies.

Mr Schultz said: "During my tenure on the board, I was impressed by the game-changing opportunities that Groupon has delivered for both merchants and customers on a global scale."

The firm replaced Mr Schultz and Mr Efrusy with new directors Daniel Henry, CFO of American Express, and Robert Bass, a vice chairman of Deloitte.