Shares of daily deals company Groupon have tanked 80% this year -- a fact that CEO Andrew Mason admitted last week would make it "weird" for the company's directors not to consider firing him.
"It would be more noteworthy if the board wasn't discussing it," Mason said at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York City last week.
The company has since given its quasi-support for Mason, saying that the board and management "are all working together with heads down to achieve Groupon's objectives." Some media outlets took that to mean the job is Mason's to keep, but a Groupon ( spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the company's carefully worded written statement. )
Groupon is fighting battles on a number of fronts, the biggest of which is a slowing online deals space. Groupon's profit growth rate is declining at an alarming rate, even though its competitors are dropping like flies. Nearly 800 daily deals sites shut down or merged with rivals in 2011, according to industry analysis group Daily Deal Media. Chief rival LivingSocial laid off 10% of its global workforce last week, and minority stakeholder Amazon (Fortune 500) wrote down 97% of the value of LivingSocial holding. ,
Mason's strategy to diversify Groupon beyond daily deals is focused in part on Groupon Goods, an online retail business that has showed signs of promise. But analysts have raised questions about the unit's dubious accounting techniques -- something that Groupon is familiar with -- and they have doubts about the business' long-term profitability.