Lucy P. Marcus

Groupon’s fate hinges on the boardroom

By Lucy P. Marcus
March 1, 2013

Andrew Mason, the chief executive officer of Groupon, has, in his own words, been fired. His resignation letter has been described in the press as charming, but the market seemed to think it was simply about time. Shares in Groupon went up more than 10 percent following the announcement on Thursday.

Aesop’s year in the boardroom

By Lucy P. Marcus
December 18, 2012

Stories of boards and leadership are the Aesop’s fables of the business world. Tales of power, money, ethics, hubris and the consumers and stakeholders in the businesses that surround us serve as cautionary tales and markers for our future.

Whack ‘em with a board!

By Lucy P. Marcus
July 2, 2012

Boardrooms around the world are going through an extraordinary transition. There is a greater understanding of the power and responsibility of boards, and they no longer operate in a black box. The message from investors now is: We’re watching you!

Facebook versus the Shareholder Spring

By Lucy P. Marcus
May 17, 2012

The corporate world is emerging from several weeks of boardroom turbulence dubbed the “Shareholder Spring.” In annual meeting after annual meeting around the world, boards have been taken to task by investors and other stakeholders on a wide range of issues: remuneration, board composition, competence, diversity, voting control, dual stock, and more. In the meantime, we have also witnessed the soap opera of Yahoo’s boardroom, the rebuke to newly public Groupon’s board for its lack of oversight of accounting practices, and the public condemnation of News International’s chair – and, by extension, its board – questioning his competence to lead the organization. No sector has been immune; no director has been untouchable.

Lead from the front, or manage from the grave?

By Lucy P. Marcus
January 26, 2012

In the past couple of months, several companies have gone through extreme and very public upheaval. Such transitions offer opportunities for fundamental, board-led change for the better, but they are also fraught with significant risks. Recent developments at RIM and Yahoo help illustrate three pitfalls: “managing from the grave,” sequence and timing, and misplaced suspense.

Playing board games to win

By Lucy P. Marcus
November 16, 2011

The board room is going through an extraordinary time of transition. More is being demanded of boards than ever before, and the activities of boards are under greater scrutiny.