Changes in Groupon management continue: Jiří Ponrt is the new CFO


Jiří Ponrt has been appointed the new CFO of the American giant Groupon. Starting today, he will fully replace Damien Schmitz in the company’s top management. Ponrt joins Groupon from Pale Fire Capital (PFC) on the recommendation of the current Groupon CEO and one of PFC’s partners, Dušan Šenkypl. For this job, Jiří Ponrt plans to relocate from the Czech Republic to Chicago, where Groupon’s US headquarters are located.

Jiří Ponrt is another experienced manager who strengthens the management of the American company Groupon. He joins from Pale Fire Capital, where he has served as CFO since November 2021 and as a partner since last summer. Ponrt is no stranger to Groupon. He has spent the last few months there consulting on financial issues and helping to identify areas where Groupon needs to focus if it wants to reduce costs, simplify its structure and deliver better financial results. Dušan Šenkypl, who chose Jiří Ponrt to join Groupon’s management team and whose move was supported by the company’s board of directors, believes that Ponrt will put his experience from Alza to good use at Groupon, which operates in 15 global markets. Ponrt worked there as CFO for over seven years and was instrumental in its growth and international expansion.  

Jirka is an experienced CFO with great business and process insight. He has shown repeatedly at Alza, PFC, and his portfolio companies that he can very quickly build a top-notch finance team closely connected to and assisting all other departments in the company,” says Dušan Šenkypl, interim CEO of Groupon, describing his choice of a new colleague in the management team: “I expect Jirka to significantly improve Groupon’s internal processes, control reporting to the stock exchange and the connection of finance to the rest of the departments in the company. The whole company needs to work in concert with the finance team and not duplicate their work. In addition, we agreed with Jirka to relocate him to Chicago. The finance department is one of the few still concentrated at our headquarters. I’m glad Jirka accepted our offer. I see him as one of the key people in Groupon’s transformation.” 

I am delighted to join Dušan and his team and contribute to Groupon’s transformation. Together we are building a great marketplace for local services and experiences,” commented Jiří Ponrt on his new role. “I realize that I am joining Groupon when we need to accelerate the company’s transformation. The announced restructuring and the significant reduction in fixed costs are just the beginning of this journey. The next steps should be to simplify processes so that the company can devote more energy to customers and the merchants who offer local services and experiences. Groupon recognizes that it must win the hearts and trust of all business partners. It is the only way to revive and return Groupon to where it belongs – among successful international technology companies. Furthermore, this will deepen responsible financial management, streamline and simplify internal processes, and improve payment processing for customers and merchants. Colleagues in the company also need to be provided with high-quality and quick information on which they can make the right decisions on a daily basis. I have to say that I see this as a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on our previous experience in the Czech Republic and neighboring countries in a large market. I look forward to working with the international team at Groupon and to successfully implementing our strategy of rapid growth and transformation of the entire company.

The change in leadership was announced by Groupon this morning, US time. In connection with his appointment as Groupon’s Chief Financial Officer, Jiri Ponrt is stepping down from his day-to-day responsibilities at Pale Fire Capital. His commitment to his role as Groupon’s CFO will be fully supported by his relocation to Chicago, the company headquarters.

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