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In Case You Missed It, Friday Was Not a Slow News Day in the Domain Industry

July 5, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddy, GoDaddy, kkr, silver lake partners, technology crossover venturesComments Off on In Case You Missed It, Friday Was Not a Slow News Day in the Domain Industry

Biggest domain name company transaction ever announced just before the U.S. holiday.

The Friday before a holiday weekend is usually a slow news day. But I heard some whispers Friday that Go Daddy was going to make a big announcement, hence my tweet around noon.

Indeed, a few hours later Go Daddy announced that it took an investment from KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

I talked with GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons Friday evening. Since most of my U.S. readers were already off drinking beer and buying fireworks, here’s a quick recap of what he told me. You can read the full details here.

-If you include options, Parsons owned 78% of the company and employees owned about 22%

-36 people will gross $1M+ from the transaction

-Parsons is still the largest single shareholder in the company

-Warren Adelman was promoted to CEO and Parsons will now chair the board


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Bob Parsons Explains Go Daddy – KKR Deal to Domain Name Wire

July 1, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddy, godaddy.comComments Off on Bob Parsons Explains Go Daddy – KKR Deal to Domain Name Wire

Investment makes 36 millionaires, will help company expand overseas and acquire complementary businesses.

I just got off the phone with GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons, who explained the deal his company just struck with KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Contrary to reports in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, this was not an outright acquisition. Parsons remains the single largest shareholder in the company in what he terms a “partnership”.

Before the deal Parsons owned 78% of the company and employees owned 22% through stock options.

Both Parsons and the employees benefited from the investment, with 36 employees getting $1 million plus checks.

All of the senior management invested in the deal and a number of people with options rolled some of it into stock in the company.

Why not just sell the company?

“I’m not dead yet, Andrew,” Parsons told me. “The reason I’m the single largest investor is because this is what I eat, sleep, and breathe.”

Parsons will remain with the company as Executive Chairman of the Board and company president Warren Adelman has been promoted to CEO.

“We cut a smokin’ deal with KKR, Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures,” said Parsons. But it isn’t just about the money, he said. “What excites me is what they bring to us as a competitor.”

He explained that the investors’ experience in overseas markets and technology will help the company grow. The company may also make acquisitions, such as to help the company offer a greater range of cloud based services.

“If I could pick three companies out of the blue [to partner with], these are the guys I’d pick,” he said.

Parsons would not disclose the amount of investment, but when I asked him about reports of $2.25 billion he said “it might be close”.


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Bob Parsons to PETA: Look in the Mirror

June 3, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, GoDaddy, petaComments Off on Bob Parsons to PETA: Look in the Mirror

Parsons tweets about PETA hypocrisy.

After Go Daddy founder and CEO Bob Parsons killed an elephant in Zimbabwe, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was quick to pounce on him. The company moved its domain names from Go Daddy to a rival domain name registrar.

But Parsons won’t let PETA get away that easy. Today he tweeted the following to his 34,000 followers:

The first link is to a PETA story about “Deadly Destinations“, which blasts places like Disney’s Wild Animal Kingdom, Sea World, and the St. Louis Zoo.

The second link is to PETAkillsanimals.com, a site that tracks how many animals PETA itself slaughters each year. In 2010 PETA killed 693 dogs and 1,507 cats according to records at its Virginia facility.

Granted, PETA doesn’t release videos of its killings set to an AC/DC soundtrack :)

Update: for what it’s worth, I just got this message from PETA:

We read your blog post about Bob Parsons’ tweet citing PETAKillsAnimals.com, a site managed by the deceitfully named Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization that shills for the meat, tobacco, and alcohol industries. Thank you for noting that PETA does not get a thrill from killing animals as Parsons clearly does. We’d like to expand on that if we might.

PETA makes no secret of having to euthanize most of the animals it takes in. PETA’s spay/neuter clinics struggle to reduce companion-animal overpopulation by providing free and low-cost services, and they sterilized more than 10,000 animals last year alone. Unlike traditional shelters, PETA takes in the worst of the worst cases and offers a service to the community, which includes providing a peaceful, painless death to elderly, ailing, or injured companion animals, often at the request of their human companions. PETA routinely transfers highly adoptable animals to a local open-admission shelter so that those animals have a chance at finding a loving, permanent home. The only way to stop the euthanasia of 3 million to 4 million animals a year in this country is to stop the births of unwanted animals. Until people stop buying animals from breeders and pet stores and spay and neuter their animal companions, dogs and cats will continue to die in large numbers.


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PETA Plays Into Bob Parson’s Hands Over Elephant Hunting

March 31, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, GoDaddy, petaComments Off on PETA Plays Into Bob Parson’s Hands Over Elephant Hunting

PETA is closing its Go Daddy account over elephant hunting incident.

Poor Bob Parsons.

The Go Daddy founder is about to lose a few hundred domain name registrations from its client People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

I’m sure he’s just shaking in his boots.

The group is enraged about an elephant hunting video he took in Zimbabwe. The video caught attention after being posted at online petition site Change.org.

Nevermind that Parsons posted a similar video last year. I guess no one saw that.

Parsons loves this kind of attention, and he’s not going to lose any sleep over losing PETA’s account. For every PETA domain he loses he’ll get 3 more registrations from someone else in his NASCAR-loving customer base.

Now, if I may opine on the video for a second.

I’m not a hunter. I’ve only shot a gun once in my life (despite living in Texas). And you all know I’ve had my share of differences with Bob Parsons.

But this uproar over the video just goes to show how myopic people can be. We assume that everyone else is in a similar situation than us and should be held to our standards.

If you lived in Zimbabwe and the only way to feed your family was to get elephants off your property (and eat them), you’d do whatever it took. When it’s a matter of your kid dying or an elephant dying, which one would you choose?

Yeah, it’s easy for me sitting in my cozy office in the United States to say you shouldn’t shoot elephants. Or you shouldn’t become a pirate in Somalia. But many people literally have no choice: it’s die or do something we wouldn’t consider over here.

You think these guys should be worried about emissions from their dirty diesel vehicles when they’re trying to figure out where tomorrow’s dinner will come from?

The only thing I’d be enraged about is if Parsons was paying Robert Mugabe for his visits. If you really want to make a difference in the life of the average Zimbabwe citizen, you’d get rid of that guy.


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PETA Plays Into Bob Parson’s Hands Over Elephant Hunting

March 31, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, GoDaddy, petaComments Off on PETA Plays Into Bob Parson’s Hands Over Elephant Hunting

PETA is closing its Go Daddy account over elephant hunting incident.

Poor Bob Parsons.

The Go Daddy founder is about to lose a few hundred domain name registrations from its client People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

I’m sure he’s just shaking in his boots.

The group is enraged about an elephant hunting video he took in Zimbabwe. The video caught attention after being posted at online petition site Change.org.

Nevermind that Parsons posted a similar video last year. I guess no one saw that.

Parsons loves this kind of attention, and he’s not going to lose any sleep over losing PETA’s account. For every PETA domain he loses he’ll get 3 more registrations from someone else in his NASCAR-loving customer base.

Now, if I may opine on the video for a second.

I’m not a hunter. I’ve only shot a gun once in my life (despite living in Texas). And you all know I’ve had my share of differences with Bob Parsons.

But this uproar over the video just goes to show how myopic people can be. We assume that everyone else is in a similar situation than us and should be held to our standards.

If you lived in Zimbabwe and the only way to feed your family was to get elephants off your property (and eat them), you’d do whatever it took. When it’s a matter of your kid dying or an elephant dying, which one would you choose?

Yeah, it’s easy for me sitting in my cozy office in the United States to say you shouldn’t shoot elephants. Or you shouldn’t become a pirate in Somalia. But many people literally have no choice: it’s die or do something we wouldn’t consider over here.

You think these guys should be worried about emissions from their dirty diesel vehicles when they’re trying to figure out where tomorrow’s dinner will come from?

The only thing I’d be enraged about is if Parsons was paying Robert Mugabe for his visits. If you really want to make a difference in the life of the average Zimbabwe citizen, you’d get rid of that guy.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Bob Parsons Tells His Story at DOMAINfest

February 1, 2011bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddyComments Off on Bob Parsons Tells His Story at DOMAINfest

Bob Parsons talks to a standing-room only crowd at DOMAINfest.

He carries a rock star persona. And he’s definitely a rock star to the domain name industry.

Monday afternoon Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons told his story — from his troubles in Catholic school to serving in the Marines to finally getting a breakthrough and turning Parsons Technology into a $64 million payday — to an enthusiastic crowd at DOMAINfest in Santa Monica.

And after his talk, Parsons looked like a rock star as dozens of people lined up to get a photo next to him. (Not to mention his entourage, including his President, General Counsel, VP of Public Relations, and delightful wife.)

DOMAINfest attendees are now the only 700 people in the world to see the entire internet version of the second half Super Bowl Commercial previewed here. Without telling you exactly what happens, it’s safe to say that Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels are not naked in the commercial.

As for the new GoDaddy.co girl, good luck finding that out. I asked several people on the Go Daddy team including Parsons himself. Everyone is tight lipped. We’ll have to wait until Sunday.


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Video and Highlights from Go Daddy’s $4M Holiday Bash

December 13, 2010bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddyComments Off on Video and Highlights from Go Daddy’s $4M Holiday Bash

Scenes from a four million dollar holiday party.

Go Daddy held its annual holiday party at Chase Field in Phoenix on Saturday evening.

In this video you’ll see some highlights from the night. You’ll also wonder if the event really took place at Chase Field. It looks more more like an amusement park to me.

Here are some highlights from the video:

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons gave some interesting stats on what happens at Go Daddy every minute:

-75 domain names are registered, transferred, or renewed
-43 customers call the call center
-13 email or forwarding accounts set up
-SSL certificate sold
-2 hosting account sold
-30 URLs shortened with x.co shortener

Not bad.

Other highlights:

-Go Daddy gave out a lot of money during the event, including a $500,000 charitable donation to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDs. The money will establish the “Go Daddy Women’s Health Center” at Southwest Center’s new community health and education facility.

-There were many celebrities in attendance, including Go Daddy girl Danica Patrick.

-Musical performers included Jewel (who sang a Go Daddy song), ZZ Top, and George Thorogood.

-Employees who missed the party because they had to work got four times their pay for the night plus a $250 bonus.


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Brilliant: Bob Parsons to Keynote DOMAINfest

December 2, 2010bob parsons, Domain Registrars, DOMAINfest, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddy, Oversee.netComments Off on Brilliant: Bob Parsons to Keynote DOMAINfest

Go Daddy founder to give keynote presentation at DOMAINfest.

I didn’t see this coming, but it’s brilliant: Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons will keynote February’s DOMAINfest Global conference in Santa Monica.

DOMAINfest is run by Oversee.net, which owns Moniker. Go Daddy is certainly its #1 competitor for domain registration. Go Daddy is the biggest domain name registrar and manages perhaps 20 times as many domains as Moniker. But DOMAINfest is an industry conference, and Oversee.net has done a good job making it not just about them. Numerous competitors sponsor the event. This helps solidify that.

I believe this is the first time Parsons has attended a domain name industry event since Domain Roundtable over 5 years ago. Having Parsons at the event will do a few things:

-Bring more mainstream attention to the conference; Go Daddy is the company in the industry that gets the most mainstream press.

-Ensure that more Go Daddy employees attend. They’re hit or miss at conferences (Bob has said he’s not a fan of tradeshows). Surely he’ll bring an entourage. (Hopefully he sticks around for the Playboy Mansion party. It seems right up his alley.)

-Help solidify that it’s an industry conference; not just an Oversee conference.

This is frankly one of the first keynotes in a while that I’m interested in seeing. Parsons is not a one-hit-wonder. He sold off his last business to Intuit, and now has created a business worth over $1B.

Brash and egotistical? Sure. But show me someone with his success who isn’t.

I’ve only talked to Parsons twice, and both were related to the same thing: Standard Tactics. You might imagine they were uncomfortable conversations, but they really weren’t. The first was shortly after I published my story on Standard Tactics, and the second was on his live radio show. I came away impressed. I’m sure he would have rather me not expose Standard Tactics, but he made some changes immediately afterward. For example, my story had pointed out that Go Daddy was effectively bidding against its customers by raising the starting bids for high traffic expired domains. He said he hadn’t looked at it that way before and would change it immediately. Then on his radio show he announced he was shutting down Standard Tactics’ operation. He even brought a bit of humor — albeit with spin — to the situation.

Bottom line: Parsons is the most successful person in the domain name industry. This was a smart move by Oversee.net, a smart move by Go Daddy, and a keynote everyone should attend.


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Queen Cancels Holiday Party, But Go Daddy Goes All In

November 24, 2010bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddyComments Off on Queen Cancels Holiday Party, But Go Daddy Goes All In

Domain registrar to continue tradition of big holiday parties.

The latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek has a story titled “The End of the Office Holiday Party” that prominently features domain name registrar Go Daddy.

The article starts off by mentioning that Queen Elizabeth II canceled this year’s Christmas Party, saying it wouldn’t be right to throw a lavish party while asking everyone else to cut back.

But there’s one company that’s not cutting back, and it’s right here in our industry. Go Daddy will again return to Chase Field in Phoenix for its annual shindig. Over 6,000 people are expected to attend the December event including Go Daddy Girls race car driver Danica Patrick, personal trainer Jillian Michaels, singer Ella Koon, and poker player Vanessa Rousso. Company founder Bob Parsons has also lined up three major bands to perform.

Parsons told Bloomberg Businessweek that he will dole out $1 million in cash to company employees during the party.

“I’ll give away a million bucks by pulling names out of a hat. And when I give money away, I pay the taxes on it,” he says. “I don’t want to be the richest guy in the graveyard.”

Not bad.


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WSJ: Go Daddy No Longer for Sale

October 25, 2010bob parsons, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddy, godaddy.comComments Off on WSJ: Go Daddy No Longer for Sale

World’s largest domain name registrar supposedly no longer for sale.

The Wall Street Journal, which originally reported that domain name registrar GoDaddy was for sale, is now saying the company is off the market.

The Journal reports that the sales process was cut off last week. A number of private equity companies were in the mix, and the story suggests a sale price of $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion was possible.

So Bob Parsons will continue to control the company. He just made another move that he wouldn’t be able to do (under the company’s name) if he sold out: Go Daddy recently donated $1 million to the George W. Bush presidential library. Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons isn’t shy about leaning to the right.

Although I suppose Parsons could easily make a donation by himself instead of on behalf of the company.


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