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Groupon PR Boss Quits. We Can't Imagine Why.

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 31, 2011 7:20PM

2011_7_28_groupon.jpeg The hits just keep on coming at Groupon. Bradford Williams, the company's vice president of global communications, abruptly left the company after only two months on the job. Bull riders have to last at least eight seconds on an angry steer. This is the business equivalent of falling short of that time limit.

A source tells Business Insider Williams and Groupon CEO Andrew Mason were a little like oil and water.

"Andrew and [Williams] didn't agree on a lot—[they had] different views on lots of things."

Primary among their disagreement has been Groupon's approach to the "silent period" mandated by the SEC between their IPO Prospectus filing and whenever the IPO happens. (Which will be whenever Groupon's gazintas meet SEC approval.)

Business Insider's main source said Williams tendered his resignation last Wednesday. Another said it was last Monday. That was right around the time Mason's memo to the troops where he addressed the company's critics — and said Groupon was "the best thing that's happened to small businesses since the telephone" — made its way online.

The memo may have been a violation of the SEC's "quiet period" rules, which are written to prevent "pump and dump" schemes (which many analysts indicate the Groupon IPO is looking more like by the day).

At the very least, Business Insider thinks the Mason memo is a pretty inventive end around those rules, which they call "ludicrous."