Bob Parsons: The Self-Taught Computer Programmer Who Founded GoDaddy

Bob Parsons is the founder and executive chairman of GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar and web hosting provider. A serial entrepreneur, he started his first company, Parsons Technology, in his basement in 1984 after teaching himself how to write computer software. Ten years later, Parsons sold Parsons Technology to Intuit for $64 million. At the time, Parsons Technology was offering over 100 products, releasing a new product or major product upgrade every 6 days, and sending over 6 million pieces of direct marketing mail each month. The company had nearly 1,000 employees, 3 million customers, and $100 million in annual revenue.

In 1997, using funds from the sale of Parsons Technology, Parsons founded Jomax Technologies, which was renamed GoDaddy a couple of years later. GoDaddy became an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar in 2000. Today, GoDaddy has more than 12 million customers around the world and manages over 57 million domains. Despite its exponential growth, the company has remained committed to its original goal of giving people an easy, affordable way to bring their ideas online and helping them easily start and grow their own ventures.

GoDaddy has been named “Best Registrar” by DomainNameWire.com for five consecutive years and one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in the Valley” for seven consecutive years. GoDaddy has also received numerous Arizona Corporate Excellence Awards, including “Most Innovative Company” in the state.

Parsons was named “Arizona Business Leader of the Year” in 2007 and accepted the Celebrity Fight Night Muhammad Ali Entrepreneur Award in 2011. Last year, he was honored with the Visionary Award for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic contributions to the Greater Phoenix Area.

Parsons joined the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and received the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Purple Heart Medal. He subsequently earned a BS in accounting from the University of Baltimore and became a Certified Public Accountant.

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