Remember Livingsocial? Its CEO is abandoning ship.

January 10, 2014

Livingsocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy. (TechCocktail)

Daily deals. Huh. What are they good for?

Seems like the CEO of D.C.-based Livingsocial has been asking himself the same thing. In a memo to company staff Friday, Tim O'Shaughnessy announced he's stepping down. A company spokesperson confirmed the move.

"The road we’ve traveled has not been straight and it has not been without bumps, but it has been, undoubtedly, extraordinary," O'Shaughnessy wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Post. "My responsibility is to recognize that now is the best time to transition leadership — when that full set of ingredients is available to be used most effectively to shape the company’s future."

"Bumpy" puts it mildly. The company has faced hundreds of layoffs, millions of dollars in losses and a raft of departures. O'Shaughnessy will be the third of the company's four initial co-founders to leave. After the CEO's exit at an undisclosed time later this year, CIO Val Aleksenko will be the only remaining member of the original team.

Livingsocial's recent struggles have tracked the corresponding decline of the daily deals craze, a trend that's also hit the company's main rival, Groupon, in similar ways. Last year, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason told the company he'd been fired by the board.

O'Shaughnessy's note added that the search for a new CEO will begin immediately. Until the company finds a replacement, O'Shaughnessy will stay on to "finalize our strategic plan and put every iota of energy we have into executing that plan."

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecom, broadband and digital politics. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.
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