|Born||August 8, 1959|
|Residence||San Luis Obispo, California|
|Alma mater||Pepperdine University|
Blake Irving is the Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of the GoDaddy group of companies, which provide web services. Before coming to GoDaddy in 2013, Blake served Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Yahoo!. Before Yahoo!, Blake spent 15 years at Microsoft creating consumer products, like NetMeeting and MSN Messenger, and expanding Hotmail.
Early life and education
Blake Irving was born on August 8, 1959, to James Scott Irving and Patricia Ann Irving in Ohio. Irving's father was in the FBI and consequently moved the family around the country. Irving lived with his brother, Scott, and his sisters, Lisa and Lori. Irving played the drums from the age of seven, and was an artist while attending the Newbury Park High School in Southern California. Irving is a graduate of San Diego State University and received an MBA degree from Pepperdine University. He has served as a professor at Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, and has been named a distinguished alumni.
Irving started his professional career at Xerox in 1981, where he provided Greek fonts for electronic typesetting. He eventually became a manager at the company’s Font Support Center. Irving was a part of the team in the early PARC days of WYSIWIG, Irving also worked at Oki Electric Company and Compaq computer.
Irving was a product manager for Microsoft’s telecommunications business unit in 1994, and a group manager the Personal Systems Division in 1995. In 1996, he was the group manager for the Internet Platform and Tools Division, and he would later be named a vice president. As Corporate Vice President of the Windows Live Platform Blake led the company’s global Internet development and operations, managing a $1 billion global R&D budget and overseeing development teams in the US, India, China and Europe. Irving also served as Corporate Vice President of MSN Communication Services Merchant Platforms, and Member of Platform Group of MessageCast Inc. Blake was also involved in overseeing other Microsoft products including NetMeeting, Outlook Express, MSN Messenger, Hotmail, Xbox Live, and other Microsoft applications.
Blake Irving served as the Chief Product Officer of Yahoo! Inc. from May 2010 to April 2012 and its Executive Vice President from May 2010 to April 1, 2012. Irving left Yahoo! during Scott Thompson's CEO-ship. During his time at Yahoo! Irving was put in charge of the email, in addition to the theme-based Yahoo! sites like news, sports, and finance.
Blake Irving gave up his semi-retirement to become the Chief Executive Office at the GoDaddy Group Inc. and officially joined January 7, 2013. Under Blake’s leadership, the company has ditched the sexually provocative commercials in order to try to repair the company’s reputation for sexism, stating that he believed the majority of his target clients were women. Later commercials ended up bringing in a higher volume of new business once they changed to a less sexual theme. Irving also made some substantial changes within the company, including hiring Elissa Murphy as Chief Technical Officer, the first woman to hold that position at GoDaddy. His leadership style has included the implementation of transparency through face time between employees and management,and has implemented programs focused on diversity, closing the women’s pay gap, and adapting to changes in immigration policies. In 2015 Irving oversaw the IPO of the company. Irving will retire from the company at the end of 2017.
Women in Technology
Blake was an executive producer of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, a documentary that — through interviews, animation and clever flashpoints in popular culture — examines the reasons why more girls and people of color don’t seek opportunities in computer science. The documentary explores how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in what has been described as a national crisis. In 2015, Blake Irving took the stage at Grace Hopper as a keynote speaker where he released GoDaddy’s gender data on stage. Blake’s commitment to understanding the gender gap resulted in positive remarks from audience members in person and via Twitter.
Blake Irving believes that the internet is the greatest force for economic and social change. In 2014, the FCC made a decision to alter the way the internet operates by permitting individually negotiated data rates for websites, thus creating fast and slow lanes for internet traffic. In response to this, Irving sent an sent an open letter to the FCC Chairman, Thomas Wheeler. Irving is a supporter of Net Neutrality.
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