Blake Irving

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Blake Irving
Born (1959-08-08) August 8, 1959 (age 57)
Residence San Luis Obispo, California
Education MBA
Alma mater Pepperdine University
Occupation GoDaddy CEO

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[edit]

Blake Irving was born on August 8, 1959, to James Scott Irving and Patricia Ann Irving in Ohio.[citation needed] Irving’s parents had met in the Los Angeles, California area. Both were involved in the jazz music scene while Jim attended school at UCLA. Patty worked at Rand Corporation and put Jim through law school. As a child, Irving's father was in the FBI and consequently moved the family around the country. [1] Irving lived with his brother, Scott, and his sisters, Lisa and Lori.[citation needed]


Blake continued to play drums and create art through High School in Southern California, playing in high school bands, jazz quartets, big bands, college bands [2] and competing in Percussive Arts Society (PAS) competitions in jazz and rudimental drumming. Blake also privately taught music lessons, as well as wrote music for high school drum lines. Following his parents’ path of “music as avocation,” in 1977 Blake attended Cal State Northridge as a business major. He quickly changed to art with a focus on typography and continued to play in jazz bands. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and received an MBA degree from Pepperdine University. [3]



Irving started his professional career at Xerox. In 1980 during his Junior year, he was asked to interview and took employment at Xerox Corporation where they had formed an early digital typography group called “The Font Center” as a Digital Typographer. Irving was a part of the team in the early PARC days of WYSIWIG,[4] where he was designing early display and printer fonts. During his time at Xerox he was involved in numerous products and services including: typography, communications on the personal computer, subscription services and back end online advertising. Within Xerox, Blake transitioned from designing fonts for displays and printers to working as a PM on printers, then multimedia PCs. After receiving his MBA and receiving the Chairman’s award for innovation at Xerox, Irving took a role at Okidata in Mt Laurel New Jersey as a product manager. Blake left Okidata after receiving a strong offer from Compaq computer one year later. Blake was originally recruited to Compaq to start their printer group but a financial downturn moved Irving to their multimedia group instead.


As Corporate Vice President[5] 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.[6] Irving also served as Corporate Vice President of MSN Communication Services[7][8] and Member of Platform Group of MessageCast Inc. He was responsible for driving and managing: datacenter and technical operations, advertising platform, storage and payments infrastructure, backend communications and collaboration platform, business and customer intelligence, security and safety, identity, VoIP, mobile, global development and supportability capabilities, supporting application services built across it, including Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox Live[9] and other Microsoft applications.[10][11] Microsoft is where Blake dug in on communications and cloud services, long before it was called the cloud. Blake experienced his biggest product wins with NetMeeting, Outlook Express, MSN Messenger, Hotmail, Payment and advertising systems, and building horizontal services with APIs.


Blake Irving served as the Chief Product Officer of Yahoo! Inc.[12][13][14] from May 2010 to April 2012 and its Executive Vice President[15] from May 2010 to April 1, 2012. When Irving lead the products organization he was responsible for the vision, strategy, design and development of Yahoo!'s global consumer and advertiser product portfolio. At Yahoo! Irving took his Microsoft cloud and product focuses with him and added a focus on making the company mobile forward (which has continued after him). During his time at Yahoo!. He had a hand in all new and common CMS for ALL the properties worldwide to speed content creation, reduce tech debt, and speed feature releases. Blake left Yahoo! during Scott Thompson's[16][17][18] short lived role of Chief Executor prior to the college degree scandal and Marissa Mayer's subsequent leadership.


Blake Irving gave up his semi-retirement to become the Chief Executive Office at the GoDaddy Group Inc.[19][20][21][22] and officially joined January 7, 2013. Initially becoming CEO was never a thought before he was approached:

“I didn’t really know what they had,” he said. “I thought they were basically a domains business. But this is the best front door for small business that there is on the Internet today. I got more and more interested and realized this was exactly what I wanted,” said Irving.[23][dead link]

Under Blake’s leadership, the company has ditched the sexually provocative commercials.[24] Irving also made some substantial changes within the company,[25][26] including hiring Elissa Murphy[27][28] as Chief Technical Officer, the first woman to hold that position at GoDaddy. Irving and Murphy created the GoDaddy Women in Technology network, a professional development group. Irving instilled growth into the company by acquiring, in alphabetical order: Afternic, Locu, MDot, Media Temple, Mad Mimi, Ronin and more. Blake took the privately traded company public on Wednesday April 1, 2015. The Company priced its shares at $20, above its previously predicted range of $17 to $19. Under Irving the stock commenced trading on the NYSE at $6.15 a share on and closed at the same price. Blake is known for being a fun CEO; he is spotted around the office rocking GoDaddy colored kicks, shorts, and a tee shirt. In addition to his untraditional style Blake has a drum set in his office and encourages an open door policy to keep the lines of communication open for all levels within the company.


Women in Technology[edit]

Blake was an executive producer of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap,[29][30][31] 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 this national crisis.

In 2015,[32] 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.[33]

Net Neutrality[edit]

Blake Irving believes that the internet is the greatest force for economic and social change.[34][35] Irving believes that this positive force can connect people to other people, ideas and marketplaces like never before. 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[36][37] to the FCC Chairman, Thomas Wheeler. Irving is a supporter for a free and open internet and believes that Net Neutrality is critical for the future of innovation and ideas, the health of small business in the US, and the health of the U.S. economy as a whole.


  1. ^ Bryant, Adam (2016-11-11). "Blake Irving of GoDaddy: At the Top, You Get to Set the Tone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  2. ^ Bryant, Adam (2016-11-11). "Blake Irving of GoDaddy: At the Top, You Get to Set the Tone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Baker Forum - Blake Irving - President's Office - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo". Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  4. ^ "A brief, early history of Xerox PARC and the development of the personal computer". High Tech History. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  5. ^ ndouglas. "The new Microsoft hegemony: Kevin Johnson's reorg rundown". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2016-01-31. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Global Availability of MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces Connects People Around the World". News Center. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  7. ^ "The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: MSN Spaces, Microsoft's new, free service, courts bloggers". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  8. ^ Corp., Microsoft. "MSN Introduces New Communication Service That Enables Blogging, Picture Sharing and More". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  9. ^ "The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Making online connections the Microsoft way". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  10. ^ "Gates: We're entering 'live era' of software - CNET". CNET. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  11. ^ "Knock, knock, knock . . .". IT Business. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  12. ^ "Onetime Microsoft exec Blake Irving joins Yahoo - CNET". CNET. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  13. ^ "Yahoo Confirms Hiring of Former Microsoft Exec Blake Irving as Chief Product Officer". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  14. ^ "Blake Irving Joins Yahoo! as Chief Product Officer | Business Wire". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  15. ^ Kramer, Staci D. (2011-09-06). "Here’s The New Yahoo Leadership Structure (For Now)". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  16. ^ "Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson to Step Down [REPORT]". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  17. ^ Stewart, James B. (2012-05-18). "The Undoing of Scott Thompson at Yahoo — Common Sense". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  18. ^ Pepitone, Julianne. "Yahoo confirms CEO is out after resume scandal". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  19. ^ "Former Yahoo Exec Blake Irving Named CEO of Domain Giant Go Daddy". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  20. ^ "Go Daddy hires former Microsoft and Yahoo exec Blake Irving as next CEO". Engadget. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  21. ^ "Scottsdale’s Reaffirms Company Vision And Announces New CEO: Blake Irving". AZ Tech Beat. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  22. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "GoDaddy Doubles Down On Product With A New CEO: Ex-Yahoo Product Chief Blake Irving". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  23. ^ "Go Daddy expands in Seattle, Blake Irving hiring 50". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2013-06-02. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  24. ^ "New Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving Says The Commercials Need To Change". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  25. ^ "GoDaddy’s new CEO wants to change the world, one domain name at a time". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  26. ^ "The Man Who Is Attempting To Repair GoDaddy's Sexist Reputation". Fast Company. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  27. ^ "Elissa Murphy, One of Yahoo’s High-Profile Tech Execs, Heads to Go Daddy as CTO (Memo Time!)". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  28. ^ "Blake Irving on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  29. ^ "Why women won't code is topic of new documentary". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  30. ^ "GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving Executive Producer for CODE Documentary". Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  31. ^ "GoDaddy’s latest attempt to escape its sexist reputation". Fortune. 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  32. ^ "Q&A GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving on Grace Hopper and diversity in tech - Silicon Valley Business Journal". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  33. ^ "CEO GoDaddy gets props from Grace Hopper ’15 goers". AZ Tech Beat. 2015-10-15. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  34. ^ "Net Neutrality and the American dream for SMBs - The Garage". Garage. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  35. ^ "Net Neutrality Is Fair Play for Small Business". 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2016-06-19. 
  36. ^ "Blake Irving on Net Neutrality". BIT.PARTS. Chris Ambler. 
  37. ^ "GoDaddy CEO Sends Letter to FCC |". 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2016-06-19.