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 Discovery.com 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