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Groupon President Rob Solomon leaving company

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Rob Solomon, the president and chief operating officer of Groupon, Chicago’s daily-deal website, is leaving the company and returning to California, a Groupon spokeswoman said late Tuesday.

Solomon “will remain a friend and advisor to the company,’’ spokeswoman Julie Mossler said, quoting Groupon CEO and founder Andrew Mason. Officials did not say why he was leaving.

Solomon could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He told Dow Jones that he was leaving in part because the company had grown too big and “needed a much different type of operator to take it to the next level.’’

Solomon, 44, an All-American water polo player who helped the University of California at Berkeley win two NCAA titles in the mid-1980s, gained career recognition as a Silicon Valley tech veteran and crack marketing strategist. He joined Groupon in March of last year and moved his family — including his wife, three children and three dogs — to Chicago in April.

In an extensive interview with the Sun-Times in January, Solomon said Groupon planned to launch “a lot of new categories in the next year.” His prediction was fulfilled this week when Groupon offered its first discount deal on movie tickets.

Solomon described Groupon’s secret as cracking the code of combining people’s virtual worlds with their social ones.

In the interview, Solomon said that Mason “is going to be the long-term CEO of this company.”

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