6 December 2023

Exciting News: Go Daddy Appoints New COO, Transformation Marches On!

By Ronald Smith

I’ve got some incredible news to share with you. Go Daddy has just announced that Scott Wagner, who previously worked at a fancy private investment firm called KKR Capstone, will be joining us as a permanent executive. Isn’t that awesome? It also means that KKR Capstone, along with Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, will continue to guide Go Daddy’s amazing transformation.

Just yesterday, the company made an official announcement, sealing the deal and confirming Wagner’s position as our Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Quite the impressive title, right?

Let me fill you in on some background. Wagner initially joined Go Daddy as a temporary member when KKR Capstone, together with others, snapped up Go Daddy in a pretty jaw-dropping leveraged buyout worth a rumored $2.3 billion. Last summer, when our former CEO Warren Adelman decided to step down, Wagner stepped up and took charge as the interim Chief Executive Officer. Quite the hero, I must say!

It’s not every day you see someone like Scott, with his talent and experience, choose to join the portfolio company he was assigned to help, said our new CEO Blake Irving in a statement. Scott… he’s just as dedicated as we are to making a difference for small businesses, Irving added.

The Evolution of the Small Business Platform

Go Daddy had been under the leadership of its founder Bob Parsons for 15 years. Parsons, a colorful and sometimes controversial figure, faced criticism for his involvement in elephant hunting. He still owns a significant portion of the company.

After the private equity investment, the KKR Capstone team took over the company and began the process of transforming it. In January of this year, they brought in Irving, a former executive from Yahoo and Microsoft, to serve as CEO.

Since I arrived at the company, we’ve brought in new executives and set up offices in sunny Sunnyvale, California and near beautiful Seattle, Washington. And just last week, we made a big announcement about starting construction on a brand new technology center in the lovely city of Tempe, Arizona.

Before 2012, our main focus at Go Daddy was on helping people register domain names, providing hosting services, and offering other website-related help. But we wanted to offer even more to our customers, so last summer we acquired Outright, a helpful bookkeeping software for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

If you were to visit the Go Daddy homepage today, you’d notice a big difference from what it was like just one year ago. Back then, the homepage was cluttered and overwhelming, especially if you weren’t a tech expert. It seemed like all they wanted you to do was buy domain names and constantly upgrade. Plus, there were lots of technical terms that could confuse anyone who wasn’t familiar with them.

Have you noticed the changes on our home page? It’s looking neater and simpler these days. We’ve really focused on making it easier for you to build your own website. It’s much less overwhelming, especially for small business owners like yourself.

Oh, and you might have noticed that we’ve made some changes to our branding too. We’ve moved away from featuring glamorous women like Nascar driver and spokesperson Danica Patrick. This change was made because we didn’t want to come across as sexist anymore. We realized that some female business owners found it off-putting, and we wanted to create a more inclusive environment for everyone.

Our CEO, Irving, recently shared that we’re on track to becoming the largest platform for small businesses all around the world. Exciting stuff, right?

It seems like Go Daddy is on a bit of a journey to become a better platform for small businesses, but it still has a lot of progress to make. Even though they acquired the Outright product, they haven’t done much with it yet. If they want to be a true platform, they need to offer small businesses tools for more than just online presence and bookkeeping.

Can you believe that Go Daddy started out as a small startup way back in 1997? Since then, they’ve really grown. In fact, their revenue reached a whopping $1.3 billion last year! They claim to have 11 million customers all over the world, providing web hosting and domain registration services. They even boast to be the largest provider of these services globally. With 3,400 employees, they’re definitely a big player in the industry!