City Desk

LivingSocial PulseCheck: CEO Co-Founder to Step Down

This is part of an ongoing series monitoring the fluctuating pulse of D.C.'s very own online coupon company, LivingSocial.

LivingSocial CEO and co-founder Tim O'Shaughnessy announced today that he's stepping down from his post.

A company spokeswoman told Washington Business Journal that O'Shaughnessy is leaving on his own accord and will be staying on until his successor is hired, which will likely come in the first half of the year.

O'Shaughnessy is one of the four people who launched the company back in 2007 and is the only one of the original founders still at the company.

In a letter to staff, which LivingSocial posted on its blog, O'Shaughnessy wrote that the company has  "far surpassed the biggest ideas and dreams the four of us could have conjured."

"I have loved working at LS each and every day, and that’s in large part a testament to the passion, creativity and drive in all of you, and I will stay with you until we have a new leader in place," he wrote. "Together, we’ve had billions in sales, millions of customers, hundreds of thousands of merchant partners, thousands of cupcakes, dozens of products (some successful, some not)… and built one amazing company."

The next CEO has some big challenges ahead. The company has hit some road bumps in recent years, including laying off around 400 employees at the end of 2012. In 2013, it received $110 million in investments (about half from Amazon), but it also posted some big quarterly losses. (Washington City Paper also sells daily deals.) If the company wants to collect on the $33 million in city tax breaks the D.C. Council approved, it needs to employ 1,000 people in the District by 2015, hire an additional 50 people each year after that, and build a new office in the District of at least 200,000 square feet.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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