Best Places to Work 2010

Behind Ads' Frivolity, Go Daddy Is Serious Business

A 'Work-Hard, Play-Hard Environment' Characterizes the Domain Registrar, a Marketer That Invests in Its Employees to Yield the Best Work

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- If you only know about domain registrar Go Daddy from its Super Bowl commercials and controversies, you might mistakenly think its employees are more likely to post pin-up calendars and hold keg parties than join culture committees and brag about the company's annual Tech Fest and generous health and vacation benefits.

Yet the latter is exactly what Go Daddy employees do.

"Most of the people at Go Daddy are very customer-focused and innovative, and think outside the box. I myself like to move around and try different things, and they're very open to that. The company likes to promote from within," said Marianne Curran, exec VP-media and communications, who is an eight-year veteran of Go Daddy and also heads up the culture team. Indeed, in the first half of 2009, more than 260 employees were promoted to new positions; employees who refer new hires receive bonuses of $500 to $1,000.

At Go Daddy, cultural flexibility leads to marketing success.
At Go Daddy, cultural flexibility leads to marketing success.
GO DADDY
LOCATION: Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz.; with offices in Iowa, Colorado, Washington, Toronto, the Netherlands and Singapore

EMPLOYEES: 2,729

GIVING BACK: Charitable contributions are made based on staff input regarding what's valuable or personal to them, and has included donating office furniture and participating in NY Cares Coat Drives. A green committee was created to reduce the impact of work activities, and includes such things as recycling and supplying reusable plates and cutlery.

Go Daddy, with more than 2,700 employees and offices in Iowa and Colorado and headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz., is "a work-hard, play-hard environment," said Barry Satterfield, creative director-marketing. He credits the cultural flexibility and freedom that employees are given as key to not only Go Daddy's marketing success, but also their career satisfaction.

"We all feel that they invest back in us as employees," he said.

A recent Bob Parsons video-blog post titled "Why you should quit your job" offered a glimpse of the CEO-founder's workplace. In the video, he says that you shouldn't actually quit your job, but rather, after eight to 10 hours on the job, you should do things like go out and have some fun, exercise, find a hobby and get a good night's sleep -- all in the name of recharging and being more creative and productive when you are at work, he explained.

Some of the perks that the employees enjoy include fully paid health benefits, ample vacation time (six weeks after five years), smartphone reimbursement, and prize giveaways at annual retreats and company get-togethers. Managers are also given $50 per month per employee for team building, generally with little restrictions. Teams have gone whitewater rafting, skydiving, skiing and on spa day trips.

Go Daddy helped out during the Iowa floods of 2008 (while fellow employees in Colorado and Arizona volunteered extra time to back them up).

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