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GoDaddy CEO Kills Elephant, NameCheap Raises Money to Save Elephants

godaddy bad reputation

GoDaddy: Bad business reputation management

This is the latest controversy on the world wide web that proves once again that your personal life is a living testament of your business reputation: Bob Parsons, GoDaddy CEO, hunted an elephant in his recent vacation to Africa, kill it, posted a video on it and tweeted about it for the world to see. Um, right…

GoDaddy is a respectable domain name registrar and web hosting company. Bob Parsons, the CEO is a bit on the controversial side, especially with the GoDaddy commercials and stuffs. Unfortunately, Bob has gone too far this time. For the details of the controversy, check out this WebProNews article published last week (click to open in a new window.)

The impact

This is not a new story, but I think it bears great lessons for us to learn from the situation. Firstly, the impact: According to the same source (WebProNews,) customers are flocking away to competitors, huge backslash against GoDaddy, a fight against the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) foundation (read what PETA think about Bob Parsons,) and receive free “promotions” from various publications, including the news.

Smart competitors are taking advantage

GoDaddy competitors are suddenly finding great opportunities – “thanks” to the situation lingering GoDaddy. Let’s take NameCheap, for example.

NameCheap, an accredited domain registrar and obviously a competitor of GoDaddy sees huge opportunities to capture GoDaddy ex-customers who are quitting from GoDaddy services while putting an effort to save elephants at the same time – a coincidence? Nah – I think it’s a well-planned, brilliant CSR strategy.

NameCheap offers domain transfer discounts for those who are looking to switch domain registrars from GoDaddy, while donating 25 percent of the revenue generated from the switch to a charity (Save the Elephants.) So far, NameCheap has raised more than $20,000. By doing so, NameCheap claims that they are actually losing money from the switching domains offer.

Is NameCheap taking advantage of the situation? I think so, but who wouldn’t? Doing good while serving what customers really want (in this case, a sensible business whose CEO is NOT killing an elephant) is only common business sense.

Lessons learned

Remember when Apple’s stock price slumped as Steve Jobs fell ill? In a different way, the impact of Bob Parsons action is greatly felt by GoDaddy.

Whether you like it or not, what you do as the CEO will impact your business in one way or another. One stumble will also stumble your company. “Lead by example” type of leadership is still relevant today.

If you don’t want your personal life to be linked to your business, then I think you need to step out of your company and hire someone with good reputation and experience. This way, your company is not directly attached to you, the CEO/founder; you can do things that would impact your business directly (unless if you are Richard-Branson-kind-of-business-owner who loves to do interesting things while getting free publication about your businesses.)

What do you think of Bob Parsons and the whole situation? Please share with us by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Reputation matters
Photo credit: maare6

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2594 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

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  • Jim,

    Many are taking advantage over GoDaddy’s misstep. I’m not going to say it’s a good step, but it’s a smart move in getting spin-off customers from GoDaddy.

  • Jim

    This is disgusting. I actually just found out about a company called HostPapa where using the coupon code “elephant” they’ll donate $5 dollars to . They’ll also give you 3 months free! So I’m switching over all my sites hosted through GoDaddy to them immediately.

  • FH Harris,

    First of all, thanks for your insight. Forgive me for being shallow – I am but a humble noob.

    Regarding the loss-making campaign, the source of the information is from the company itself. NameCheap mentions that it is taking a loss in the Save the Elephant offer, not in their entire business operation. And yes, you are right – NameCheap won’t be swayed by this in any way. You can learn more from the WebProNews links I provide in the article.

    Regarding Apple, yes, exactly – Jobs is the driving force behind Apple, but Jobs’ health issues – which are personal issues, obviously – do impact in one way or another. Again, it’s based on many sources – , and many others.

    Regarding your statement, “There are those of us who support the saving of people at the expense of an elephants life.” Agreed – but Bob does it for fun. It’s not the same thing, I suppose?

    Regarding high level of success, yes – I’m not yet achieved any high level of success. But I am sure I am getting there and my mentors – respected business owners and entrepreneurs – advise me to stay away from my business when the time comes in such a way that “my business is not me” and “I am not my business.” I am just someone who is listening to his mentors.

  • FH Harris

    I disagree wholeheartedly with your analysis. Apple stock declined only because Jobs is the driving force behind Apple. Not because of any personal issues. While you say people are “flocking” there is only $80,000 in revenue that was put into the mix. Namecheap is a profit producing company. I wonder how many of those 8,000 domains (avg $10 cost) are new “defectors” And as you mentioned this is a loss to them. if 20% of that is PETA lovers then they are giving away the profit from 80% of their business that is not swayed by this issue.
    Namecheap is a bit player in this market. There are those of us who support the saving of people at the expense of an elephants life.
    Your comment that you think owners should step aside for the benefit of the company is the voice of someone who has never achieved a high level of success. All those type A highly successful folks like Parsons believe that THEIR business is a reflection and do not apologize for it. Look at the Koch brothers in their pushing of their political agenda in spite of the effect on their business image.
    I think that while what you say sounds good on the face of it, it is quite shallow.