LivingSocial CEO Steps Down
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 17, 2014 02:01
LivingSocial Chief Executive Officer and Georgetown alum Tim O’Shaughnessy (MSB ’04) announced Jan. 10 that he is stepping down from the company as it continues to report fiscal losses.
While LivingSocial’s model of publicizing discounts via daily emails garnered enormous success and spurred competition from similar sites such as Groupon, the company suffered $106 million in losses in the first nine months of 2013, according to The Washington Post.
O’Shaughnessy announced his decision in an email to staff on Jan. 10 and will remain in his position until a replacement is found in the first half of 2014, the Post reported.
“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,” O’Shaughnessy told The Wall Street Journal.
O’Shaughnessy co-founded LivingSocial in 2007, after a stint at AOL and four years after he had graduated from Georgetown.
“Seven years ago, when Tim O’Shaughnessy – who was working for me at the time – pitched me on backing the company that became LivingSocial, I recognized what a creative force and innovative leader he could be. Now, seven years later, as he has had a journey that few can match, I applaud his leadership and contribution, and expect great things from him in whatever he does next,” former AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case wrote in an email to THE HOYA. Case also co-founded Revolution Growth, a venture capital firm that has invested in LivingSocial as well as local Hoya favorite Sweetgreen, also founded by Georgetown students.
O’Shaughnessy graduated from the McDonough School of Business’ first class of operation and information management majors, according to Betsy Page Sigman, an MSB professor whose Electronic Commerce class O’Shaughnessy took in the spring of 2004.
“He was a great student, very interested in e-commerce, I’ve been very impressed with the way Tim has done in his career,” Sigman said. “And I also appreciate as a professor his willingness to come back. He’s a loyal Hoya.”
Despite Shaughnessy’s current situation she is confident in his future success.
“I’m curious as to what area he’s going to go into, I know he obviously has loved LivingSocial. I imagine that he has some exciting things that he’s planning to do,” Sigman said.
MSB professor Bonnie Moore admired O’Shaughnessy’s choice to step down, given the burgeoning growth of his company.
“It is courageous for any business leader to acknowledge a limitation. The fact that Mr. O’Shaughnessy realizes that LivingSocial’s shift to a very large company requires a skill set he feels is not his strength indicates what a stellar leader he is,” Moore wrote in an email.
While Living Social’s future might be uncertain, some Georgetown students have found that the daily deals are compatible with their lifestyle while others have lost interest.
“I like the site because I can go to restaurants that wouldn’t normally be in my price range,” Jaysel Shah (SFS ‘16) said.
“If the deals continue to be good, I’ll keep buying, but I do think the deals have gotten less valuable to me,” Shantel Jairam (MSB ‘15) said.