By Ingrid Lunden
The churn at Groupon’s (GRPN) executive level continues apace. The company has just announced that it has appointed a new vice president for North America, Rob Kilgarriff, who is taking over the role from Chris Muhr. Earlier today, Reuters reported that Chris Muhr was being shipped out to Europe, where he had first started his career with Groupon, to become the new SVP for Europe, Middle East and Africa as the daily deals company looks to fix its flagging European business.
Muhr has replaced Veit Dengler, who had joined from Dell (DELL) only in April to take up the reigns as the Sawmer brothers began their gradual stepping away from management roles at the company. (The Sawmers’ CityDeal, acquired by Groupon, forms the basis of Groupon’s European operation.) Kilgarriff will report to SVP of global operations Kal Raman.
“After nearly three years with Groupon in both Europe and the U.S. and MyCityDeal before that, I’m excited about this next opportunity to lead our EMEA business,” said Chris Muhr, SVP and GM, EMEA. “My main priorities right now are the successful rollout of our new technologies in EMEA and giving our customers the very best experiences through outstanding offers and service.”
In addition to replacing the position made vacant by Muhr, the appointment of Kilgarriff could point to two other things.
First, as consumer interest in daily deals has petered out, Groupon has been making a big effort to reposition its business away from being focused solely on daily deals, to becoming more of a one-stop e-commerce shop for local retailers. But with the skills the company is picking up in its executives, there may be other plans ahead for kinds of content. Kilgarriff is joining from online course developer GlobalScholar, which is also where Raman was before joining Groupon. Kilgarriff reported to him there, too. Before GlobalScholar, Kilgarriff held roles at Reader’s Digest, Plato Learning, Jostens Corp., and Project Achieve. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that learning is one of the more popular categories on Groupon.
Second, the appointment shows Raman is consolidating some control over the whole organization and putting people he has worked well with in the past as his lieutenants.
“I’ve seen firsthand how effectively Rob leads a sales force; he truly understands what motivates a sales team, drives revenue, and unites departments across an organization,” said Kal Raman, SVP Global Sales and Operations, said in a statement. “With a focus on high quality deals and operational excellence, we’re confident he’ll lead the team to serve our greater mission — customer and merchant satisfaction.”
The news follows the announcement earlier this week that Groupon had purchased restaurant bookings/discount site Savored.
Groupon’s shares are trading at $4.77, at the low end of its three-month range.