Andrew Mason speaks onstage during the 15th Annual Webby Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 13, 2011. - 

This final note as we leave off today. The end of the beginning, perhaps, at the once-charmed daily discounter Groupon.

It's been a rough ride for the company almost since the day it went public. Shares are down 75 percent over the past year. 24 percent just today.

Which will make what I'm about to tell you completely predictable. Founder and CEO Andrew Mason is leaving the company. The best part was his farewell email. "After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding -- I was fired today. If you're wondering why... you haven't been paying attention."

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal