Web host and domain registrar Go Daddy has become synonymous with everything from outrageous Super Bowl commercials and raven-haired racecar drivers to elephant hunting. But beginning late last year with the hiring of former Yahoo and Microsoft product executive Blake Irving as chief executive, the company has been staffing up in a big way with its eyes set on elevating its suite of products for small businesses to the next level.
In the last six months, Go Daddy says it has hired more than 50 product and engineering professionals, poaching a handful from former high-profile posts at companies including Google, eBay, Amazon and Microsoft. The latest move: Scott Wagner was named chief operating officer and chief financial officer and will be responsible for steering the company's daily operations. Wagner, who served as Go Daddy's interim chief executive, comes from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which spearheaded a leveraged buyout of the company in 2011.
And Go Daddy's hiring surge is far from over. The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company is constructing a new facility in the Arizona State University Research Park and hiring more than 300 people, including engineers and customer service representatives.
The goal with all these new hires is to expand and refine Go Daddy's toolkit for small businesses, says Wagner. "What you're going to see from us is an extension from [domain names] into connected products," he says.
That means building new tools to help companies expand beyond the web onto social media platforms and mobile devices. After all, social and mobile are two of the hottest spaces -- especially for nimble-by-nature small businesses. Go Daddy is also looking to help business owners syndicate their online content around the web.
Beyond its more exploratory areas of growth, Wagner says Go Daddy is developing a smarter engine for domain registration for "a continuously elegant name-finding experience." Helping companies get an appropriate name that matches their corporate identity remains central to its mission, he says.
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