Meet Steve Krenzer, Groupon’s Chief Operating Officer. When he’s not focused on engaging and empowering our employees to do great work, you can find him, well, in a lot of places: scuba diving, hiking, checking out local bookstores, or enjoying…airplane food?
What do you love about working at Groupon?
I love to walk around the offices and meet the people of Groupon. I always learn so much and get energized by meeting our great people.
Tell us about your role as COO.
As COO, there’s not too much about Groupon that I don’t get involved with in some capacity. The job can be expressed quite simply: to align the talent and engagement of the people of Groupon with our biggest opportunities. Groupon is such a broad and diverse company, I love the scale and variety of the things we’re working on. This also requires that I have the discipline to say “no” to many good ideas so we can focus on the difference makers.
What differentiates Groupon from other companies you’ve worked for?
I’ve spent almost 20 years working in e-commerce; the chance to work at scale with the opportunity set of Groupon was irresistible.
What are you excited to tackle in the upcoming year?
- Gaining a better understanding of our customers in detail
- Mindfully aligning the assortment of our supply in order to help customers find more great things from more great merchants in their communities
- Gaining a better understanding of our merchants and how we can help with their business problems
- Growing our leadership in mobile e-commerce
- Increasing the engagement and empowerment of our people
Who or what inspires you?
Passionate people, they’re all around us! If I had to choose one individual, it would be our middle son, Ethan. Ethan was diagnosed with a very rare (<2000 cases in the world, that’s 1/3.6 million), very serious metabolic disease when he was three years old. At the time the life expectancy for children with the disease was seven years. Ethan has had many, many challenges, but he just celebrated his 28th birthday this past Thanksgiving and is currently completing his Master’s degree. He is so focused and committed to overcoming every obstacle life has put in his path, it’s amazing.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
The scale and energy of the teams on the floor were jaw-dropping.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
Everything we do needs to be in the service of bringing customers and merchants together more easily, more beneficially, and more frequently.
What do your parents think you do.
They have no idea, probably something like “travel a lot, working on big challenges.”
So where were you before joining Groupon and how did you get here?
Most recently I was the CEO of Core Digital Media, one of the larger direct-response marketing platforms on the web. When we completed the sale of the business, Groupon CEO Rich Williams invited me to come help at Groupon and I jumped at the chance!
What do you enjoy outside of working at Groupon?
Hiking, reading literary fiction, scuba diving, and drinking good red wine.
If you could do any other job for a day, what would it be and why?
For one day? Politics, but I wouldn’t want to make a career of it. If not that, then an Olympic skier.
What are your favorite local businesses?
It’s a tie between independent bookstores and wine shops.
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
No, I only write in Iambic pentameter.
And last but not least, tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I actually like airplane food.