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September 2, 1969 (age 48)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan (JD) (BA)|
|Occupation||Chairman, Groupon and Co-founder / CEO, Tempus|
|Known for||Co-founder of Groupon|
|Net worth||US$ 2.3 billion (January 2018)|
Eric Paul Lefkofsky (born September 2, 1969) is an American billionaire businessman. He is co-founder and CEO of Tempus, Groupon, Echo Global Logistics (ECHO), InnerWorkings (INWK), Mediaocean, Uptake,and Chicago-based venture capital firm, Lightbank.
Lefkofsky grew up in a Jewish family In Southfield, Michigan, the son of Bill, a structural engineer, and Sandy, a school teacher. He attended Tamarack Camps as a youth and later worked as a staff member. After graduating from Southfield-Lathrup High School in 1987, he attended the University of Michigan and graduated with honors in 1991. He continued on at University of Michigan Law School to receive his Juris Doctor in 1993.
In 1999, Lefkofsky and Keywell created an Internet company, Starbelly, that specialized in promotional products. The firm experienced rapid "pre-bubble" growth and was sold to Halo Industries in January 2000, with Lefkofsky joining as chief operating officer. A little more than a year later, the company went bankrupt. Halo and Starbelly faced multiple lawsuits from shareholders, all of which were resolved by 2004.
Lefkofsky then co-founded InnerWorkings in fall 2001. The firm provided print procurement services for mid-sized companies; In August 2006, it had an initial public offering. Lefkofsky was on the board of directors of the firm until October 2012.
In February 2005, Lefkofsky and Keywell created a freight logistics company, Echo Global Logistics. It attracted financing from New Enterprise Associates, and then went public on the NASDAQ under the symbol 'ECHO' in June 2006.
In June 2006, Lefkofsky and Keywell founded MediaBank, a company providing technology for advertising buyers. In June 2007, the firm acquired Datatech, a media planning and procurement platform. In July 2007, New Enterprise Associates invested in MediaBank. In February 2012, the US Department of Justice approved a merger between MediaBank and Donovan Data Systems to create Mediaocean, in a deal estimated at $1.5 billion.
In January 2007, Lefkofsky co-founded and provided $1 million in funding for ThePoint.com, an online collective action website started by Andrew Mason. New Enterprise Associates led an early stage investment round in ThePoint. In late 2008, the site changed its name to Groupon.com. In October 2009, Groupon raised $30 million from Accel Partners and New Enterprise Associates. In April 2010, Digital Sky Technology and Battery Ventures invested $135 million in Groupon at a valuation of $1.35 billion. In August 2010, Forbes reported that it was the fastest growing company in history.
In February 2010, Lefkokfsky and Keywell announced a new venture firm called Lightbank to develop new companies in the Chicago area. In December 2010, Google offered a reported $6 billion for Groupon. The offer was turned down, possibly due to anti-trust and regulatory scrutiny the deal might face. In October 2011, Groupon  raised $950 million in private funding and then paid $810 million to employees and investors. Lefkofsky and family were paid $398 million.
In August 2013, Lefkofsky became CEO of Groupon. In July 2014, Lefkofsky co-founded Uptake, LLC, an analytics company. In November 2015, Lefkofsky stepped down as CEO of Groupon, resuming his role as Chairman. In 2016, Lefkofsky co-founded Tempus, a technology company that enables physicians to deliver personalized cancer care, and serves as its CEO.
In 2006, Lefkofsky and his wife formed a charitable trust, the Lefkofsky Foundation, for the "purpose of supporting charitable, scientific, and educational organizations and causes around the world". The foundation has a focus on children. The foundation has helped fund more than 50 organizations to date.
Lefkofsky is on the board of directors at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the board of directors of The Art Institute of Chicago, the board of directors of The Museum of Science and Industry, and a Trustee of Steppenwolf Theatre Company He is a board member of World Business Chicago, and serves as co-chairman of its Technology Council.
In May 2008, Lefkofsky joined the committee to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago, Chicago 2016.
Teaching and writing
Lefkofsky taught Applied Technology at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he taught a course in disruptive business models. He is now[when?] an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, teaching a course on entrepreneurship and building technology-based businesses.
In November, Easton Studio Press published Lefkofsky's Accelerated Disruption, a book about how technology affects business.
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- "Eric Lefkofsky". Forbes. January 2018.
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- "Lefkofsky Takes On The Big C". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- Geron, Tomio (August 7, 2013). "Groupon Names Eric Lefkofsky CEO, Shares Rise On Q2 Earnings". Forbes.
- "Groupon Founders, NEA Teamed Up Before". Wall Street Journal. November 4, 2011.
- Berman, Daphna (May–June 2011). "What Does It Mean To Be Jewish Today? What Do Jews Bring To The World?". Moment.
I think of myself first as an American and then as a Jew. That said, I am absolutely connected to Judaism. Being Jewish is simply woven into my fabric, and it's hard to separate it
- "Groupon Co-Founder, Southfield Native, To Speak At Camp Fundraiser". CBS Detroit. April 11, 2011.
- "Fond Farewell! Former students remember Southfield-Lathrup High". Detroit Jewish News. June 19, 2016.
Other notable Southfield-Lathrup graduates include Quicken Loans and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and Sheldon Yellen, CEO of Birmingham-based Belfor Holdings Inc.
- Bermant, Yoel (January 15, 2014). "Eric Lefkofsky's Groupon Pays Out $43 Million To Add Fashion To His Collection Through Ideeli". Jewish Business News.
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- Conlin, Michelle; Chapman, Michelle (October 21, 2011). "Groupon's fall to earth swifter than its fast rise". Associated Press. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
Additionally, there are questions about how the company has used investor money. Traditionally, investor money is used to grow a business before it goes public. But according to Groupon's SEC filings, $810 million of the $946 million it raised went to early investors and insiders. That includes $398 million to Groupon's largest investor, shareholder and executive chairman, Eric Lefkofsky.
- "Groupon stock surges 20% after Eric Lefkofsky becomes CEO". venturebeat.com. August 7, 2013.
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- "Lefkofsky Foundation". Lefkofsky Foundation. September 3, 1974. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- Bellware, Kim (December 10, 2013). "Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky And Wife Are Latest Billionaires To Join The Giving Pledge". Huffington Post.
- "Eric and Liz Lefkofsky pledge half their wealth to charity: They sign the Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge". Chicago Tribune. December 10, 2013.
- Lefkofsky, E: "Accelerated Disruption", dust jacket, Easton Studio Press, 2007
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "About | Eric Lefkofsky - Entrepreneur & Professor". Lefkofsky.com. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
- "Mary Kramer". Chicago Tribune. March 7, 2010.
- "A Drink With Eric Lefkofsky, CEO of Groupon, Founder of Lightbank". A Drink With. September 18, 2013.
- Goldsborough, Bob. "Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky finds buyer for sprawling Glencoe mansion". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.