Bob Parsons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bob Parsons
Bob Parsons.jpg
Born (1950-11-27) November 27, 1950 (age 63)
Occupation Executive chairman and founder of
Net worth Increase US$ 1.9 billion (September 2013)

Robert Parsons, better known as Bob Parsons, is an American entrepreneur. He is the executive chairman and founder of the Go Daddy group of companies, including domain name registrar, reseller registrar Wild West Domains and Blue Razor Domains. Other affiliated companies include Domains by Proxy, a domain privacy company, and Starfield Technologies, the business's technology development arm. As of September 2013, he has an estimated worth of $1.9 billion.


Parsons was born in Baltimore, Maryland. His family lived in Baltimore's inner city and struggled financially. Parsons has said about those days, "I've earned everything I've ever received. Very little was given to me. I've been working as long as I can remember. Whether it was delivering or selling newspapers, pumping gas, working in construction or in a factory, I've always been making my own money."[1]

After almost flunking out of high school, Parsons enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.[2][3] He was assigned to the 26th Marine Regiment which was attached to and operated as part of the 1st Marine Division. In 1969, he served as a rifleman in the Delta Company of the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, during a tour of duty in Vietnam, in the Quảng Nam Province.[4]

He was wounded on duty, medically evacuated and spent two months at a naval hospital recovering from his wounds. As a result of his service and injury, he earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross and the Purple Heart.[5]


Parsons obtained an accounting degree, graduating magna cum laude in 1975 from the University of Baltimore.[6] He began his long-term career in software as a self-taught programmer.[citation needed]

The University of Baltimore conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on May 21, 2008.[7]

Parsons Technology[edit]

In 1984, he founded Parsons Technology in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and began selling MoneyCounts, a home accounting program. In late 1987, Parsons was able to quit his job and focus completely on selling and programming MoneyCounts. Eventually, Parsons Technology grew to be a 1,000-employee privately held company. On September 27, 1994, Parsons completed the sale of Parsons Technology to Intuit for $64 million.[8]

Go Daddy[edit]

Parsons founded the Internet domain registrar and Web hosting company Go Daddy in 1997. In 2011, he stepped down as CEO but has remained as Executive Chairman.[9]


In 2012 Bob Parsons and his wife, Renee, created The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to focus primarily on issues in Arizona and, in particular, the greater Phoenix area where they reside. Believing that every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress free happy environment and the hope of sharing in the American Dream, they provide funding to non-profit organizations addressing these essential needs. The Foundation is also committed to the people of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti through the organization, Hope for Haiti.

In December of 2013, less than two years after the Foundation was established, Bob and Renee Parsons reinforced their commitment to philanthropy by publicly accepting an invitation to join The Giving Pledge, an initiative started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. The Pledge encourages billionaires to dedicate themselves to giving away at least half their wealth to philanthropic causes of their choosing. The Parsons have stated that they intend to donate at least half of their wealth, and likely much more, to non-profits. During 2012 and 2013 they gave over $34 million to charitable organizations.

Elephant shooting controversy[edit]

In 2011, Parsons was denounced by animal rights and other groups for tweeting a video in which he shoots and kills an elephant in Zimbabwe.[10]

In response to the shooting, Gawker called Parsons "insane"[11] and "ridiculous."[12] NBC News said "It's definitely the kind of thing only a super rich CEO/founder of a privately-held company could get away with."[13] PETA said that it would close its account with Go Daddy and urged others to do the same.[14]

In response to the criticism, Parsons explained, "The tribal authorities requested that I and others like me patrol the fields before and during the harvest".[15] He also said that by shooting leopards and elephants, he has been helping the local population. He has also stated that he believes the opposition to him only exists within small organizations who are not his customers.[16]

Political activities[edit]

In 2012, Parsons donated $1 million to Restore Our Future, Mitt Romney's Super PAC.[17]


  1. ^ Bob Parsons blog
  2. ^ Sloan, Paul (February 28, 2007). "Who's Your Go Daddy?". CNN Money. Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ David, Andersen; Lameen Witter (February 17, 2006). Former Marine, Go Daddy CEO Talks About His Rise to Success. Marine Corps News. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  4. ^ Draper, John (December 7, 2005). "GoDaddy's Remarkable Daddy". Worthwhile. Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  5. ^ Jackson, Ron (October 2004). "Underachiever to Overlord: Go Daddy's Bob Parsons Started Slow Then Built Two Business Empires". Domain Name Journal. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  6. ^ "University of Baltimore". University Relations. April 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  7. ^ Larson, Jane (May 28, 2008). "Go Daddy extends sponsorship of Danica Patrick". The Arizona Republic (Gannett). Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  8. ^ "Form:10-Q". SEC Edgar Filing Information. June 12, 1996. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  9. ^ Goldman, Andrew (December 30, 2011). "Bob Parsons Doesn't Do Subtle". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  10. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (March 31, 2011). " CEO faces backlash for elephant shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  11. ^ Chen, Adrian. "Has GoDaddy's Elephant-Killing CEO Finally Gone Too Far?". 
  12. ^ Chen, Adrian. "Meet GoDaddy's Ridiculous Elephant-Killing CEO". Retrieved 20140202. 
  13. ^ "GoDaddy CEO kills elephant, videotapes act". NBC News Business Insider. Retrieved 20140202. 
  14. ^ Li, Shan (April 1, 2011). "PETA closes Go Daddy account after CEO shoots elephant". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  15. ^ Kelly Burgess, Kelly (April 1, 2011). " CEO Bob Parsons under fire for Zimbabwe elephant-hunting video". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  16. ^ Cooper, Charles (March 31, 2011). "GoDaddy CEO: Elephant hunts help the locals". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  17. ^ Schouten, Fredreka (21 September 2012). "Romney has campaign debt, less cash on hand". USA Today. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 

External links[edit]