LivingSocial announced today that CEO and co-founder Tim O’Shaughnessy will be stepping down later this year. He has not said what his future plans are, but did state that the company hopes to fill his position in the first half of this year. Interestingly on a positive note, he did state that the company’s holiday season was “better than expected”.
If there was any controversy over how O’Shaughnessy came about this decision, LivingSocial spokeswoman Sara Parker puts it to rest. She told the Washington Business Journal that it was his decision: “He brought it to the board.”
O’Shaughnessy says that the timing of his departure is ideal in that LivingSocial is in a good place:
We now have the most stable and healthy business that we have ever had, and the luxury of having hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank to take us to the next level. As the steward of this organization, one of the hardest decisions I need to make is about who is best suited to lead [LivingSocial] into its next stage of growth. This is a responsibility I have never taken lightly.
He admits that his path as CEO hasn’t always been an easy one. Indeed, the company laid off 400 employees, or 10 percent of its workforce, in 2012, and followed that up by shuttering its Seattle office in 2013. And let’s not forget about the service’s 40-hour outage in November that affected its website, apps, and merchant center (O’Shaughnessy said it was an “incredibly low point” in the company’s history).
During this time, LivingSocial also managed to raise $110 million in funding from its existing investors in an effort to boost itself following increased losses.
This is the third co-founder to have left the daily deals company in at least two years. In March 2012, Eddie Frederick stepped down from his role as president. Aaron Batalion parted ways with LivingSocial in 2013.
Photo credit: Washington Post