GoDaddy CEO : 'We’re Not Cynical Folks'

Thursday, December 29, 2011

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In an interview with Mashable shortly after GoDaddy announced its withdrawal of support for the Stop Online Piracy Act, new company CEO Warren Adelman said that the web hosting and domain registration service was acting purely in the best interest of its customers and would now “let others carry the ball forward” as the fiercely contested piece of legislation continues to make its way through Congress.

“After digesting what was being said online and looking at how we got involved in the process, we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t ready in its current state and that we’d step back and let others provide leadership,” Adelman said.

Adelman indicated that the vociferous public outcry this week against the House Judicial Committee’s list of supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and against GoDaddy in particular was the main factor in the company’s reversal.

“We were seeing and hearing customers and tech leaders many of which are our customers talking and writing about this so we did something that was easy to do: made changes to address their needs,” Adelman said.

Adelman, who took over from Bob Parsons as GoDaddy CEO last Friday, also said that, “having been in this position of CEO for exactly one week allows you to look at the issue in a different light than someone who would have been more deeply involved in this legislation.”

If passed, SOPA would broadly enhance the powers of companies and the U.S. Justice Department to effectively censor websites they deem to infringe on copyright holders. Debate over the issue has been heated, with many Internet lovers calling it draconian legislation that would drastically and negatively reshape the web’s infrastructure.

Many were surprised to see GoDaddy officially get behind the legislation and hundreds of customers moved or threatened to move their business elsewhere as a result.

Following GoDaddy’s reversal earlier Friday, many online commentators inevitably derided the move as simply a calculated business move. But Adelman insisted that was not the case.

“We’re not cynical folks,” he said. “To be honest, this company built its whole business around a core value of customer before everything else.”

Pressed for further clarification on Friday, a GoDaddy spokesperson simply reiterated that the “we have withdrawn our support of SOPA,” but would not say whether the company would take an active stance against the bill in its current form something major sites and services such as Tumblr, Firefox and Reddit have done.

Adelman said that he was optimistic GoDaddy’s retraction of support for SOPA would quell the migration away from his company. The retaliatory movement by consumers picked up steam on Thursday and into Friday morning.

“The reason people have been with GoDaddy historically and the reason they’ll stay with comes down to three things: great customer service, great prices and a wide array of products,” he said. “We’re giving people who are concerned a new view on this position and hope we won’t continue to see those dilemmas, because we’ve been pretty honest and we’ve listened to them.”

What do you think? Is GoDaddy off the hook in your mind? Let us know in the comments.

Source from : Mashable.Com
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