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December 12, 2012

Go Daddy Names Blake Irving as CEO, Further Expansion Likely

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Blake Irving (News - Alert) is joining Go Daddy in a move that suggests the company is poised to expand globally and increase its selection of offerings.

Irving will take over as CEO next month, after having worked at Microsoft (News - Alert) and Yahoo, where he most recently was chief product officer. He succeeds Scott Wagner, an interim CEO.

“Blake Irving's deep technology experience and his history of developing new cutting-edge products and leading large global teams make him an enormously compelling choice to drive Go Daddy to the next level of its domestic and global growth,” Go Daddy executive chairman Bob Parsons (News - Alert) said in a company statement.

Go Daddy has some 11 million customers – both in the United States and increasingly worldwide. About a third of its customers are outside of the United States. It wants to grow more in the mobile tech sector, as well.

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It is believed to be the largest registrar of websites, in charge of 54 million domains and hosts over five million accounts. Go Daddy saw $1.3 billion in sales during 2012.

Earlier this year, Go Daddy acquired, a cloud-based financial management application, and partnered with DudaMobile to launch the mobile website Builder.

“I’m honored for the opportunity to lead such a talented team and to be a part of such an innovative company,” Irving said in the statement. “Go Daddy is and will continue to be the hub where businesses can come to life, grow and prosper. We strive to be the global resource that fuels success for countless entrepreneurs and innovators around the world. As a long time Go Daddy customer, I have seen firsthand an organization that is committed to its customers 24 hours a day and seven days a week and yet there still remains much more we can do to enhance the customer experience. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I can’t wait to hit the ground running in January.”

“We have good momentum on product and our international growth and having someone with Blake’s talent and character lead the company will only accelerate it,” Wagner said in the company statement.

At Yahoo, Irving developed unified product vision and strategy – as the company reached close to one billion active PC and mobile users. At Microsoft, he was vice president of the Windows Live Platform. He also led the launch of new products, including MSN Messenger, and had a role in increasing the number of Hotmail users from seven million to 290 million.

“Go Daddy is an on-ramp for small business and I view it as a platform at tremendous scale for them,” Irving was quoted in a recent report from Silicon Beat. “There is a real vision here at further combining all these capabilities and opportunities here in the U.S. and internationally.” Brazil and India appear to be possible growth markets.

In addition to its current focus on Web hosting, Irving may lead the company as it reaches out to start-ups and small companies for social media campaigns and mobile apps. Also, news reports suggest there could be more innovation in products offered by the company and improved delivery of its services.

“One of the things I’m excited about is working with lots of small businesses that are attracting and trying to retain a segmented customer base. I’ve actually run very large sites that have certainly targeted lots of customers, but when you’re managing a site or a series of sites that target 700 million customers, it’s quite different from proving a punch of power for small businesses that are trying to provide solutions for their customer bases,” Irving told (Web Host Industry Review.)

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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