Groupon brainchild embraces his inner Billy Joel at Second City
By Mike Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
Groupon CEO and Web wunderkind Andrew Mason, who last week spurned a reported $6 billion buyout offer from Google, flashed his artsy side during a standing-room-only improv charity event at Second City.
Accompanied by a singer, guitarist and saxophonist, the Northwestern University music major and former Billy Joel tribute band member took to a grand piano late Tuesday and played “Movin’ Out” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” with nary a stumble.
“In a very rare show of philanthropy,” emcee T.J. Jagodowski jokingly announced after the ivory-tickling, “Andrew Mason has agreed to donate 20 percent of his net worth to us.”
Mason also gamely (if sheepishly) submitted to a barrage of playful but prying queries — about rich-guy magazines and private air travel — from his friend and mentor, Chicago-based musician and recording engineer Steve Albini. Discussing Groupon, Mason admitted, “We just happened to stumble into a business model that makes a s--- ton of money.”