GoDaddy Doesn`t Go to Wall Street
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GoDaddy’s plans for an initial public offering generated tons of buzz when first announced. What can we make of the web host and domain name registrar changing its mind? As it turns out, the company had plenty of reasons to backtrack.
Not all of GoDaddy’s reasons for backing out of its IPO are its own “fault” though. Indeed, perhaps we shouldn’t have read too much into the original IPO announcement in the first place. Andrew Schroepfer, president of technology research firm Tier 1 Research, went on record as early as late April with the statement that an IPO might not be GoDaddy’s ultimate intention. “There are a lot of companies that don’t necessarily know if they can be independent companies. So a lot of them end up going through the process to find out from their bankers what other companies would consider buying them for.”
Well, that’s one scenario, but from what little I’ve seen of Bob Parsons, he doesn’t seem like the kind of man who’d be interested in selling his baby. An even more important question, though, is what would have happened to this outrageous CEO if the company did go public? As Liam Eagle of Web Host Industry Review observed back in April, “The passionate and outspoken Parsons is not exactly the kind of leader that has been known to represent public companies.”
Perhaps he could have gotten away with it. At the time that Google went public, many observers wondered if the search engine would be able to keep from falling victim to the hazards of looking ahead only to the next quarter's results. Even worse, it was feared that this would cause Google to lose its aura of geeky coolness and willingness to take risks with lots of different products and services. Neither of those things has happened. Schroepfer notes that “It’s all about finding the audience. Do you want your investor base to be critiquing that every day? Right now, as a private company, [GoDaddy doesn’t] have to worry about that. Google has to worry about that every day.”
There were certainly other issues though, as I’ll explain in a moment. Judging from Bob Parsons’ own blog, and comments from several analysts, satisfying shareholders may have been the least of his worries.
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