back to article Activist investor to GoDaddy: Cut costs, improve sales, or sell

GoDaddy needs to cut more jobs, reduce the tech budget, and address why it is falling short of financial targets outlined at its shareholder day in 2022, or the board should consider exploring a sale of the business. This is the view from activist investor Starboard Blue LLP, GoDaddy's third largest shareholder and one which …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry guys...

    When Starboard shows up, it is a resume generating event. Cut, or be cut. Best option is to grab a parachute on your own terms, rather than wait to be pushed out the door.

    Good luck.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sorry guys...

      Just wondering - does anyone here have clients on GoDaddy?

      1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

        Re: Sorry guys...

        One of mine may still have a domain with them, but I don't deal with his website anymore so I'm not sure.

        I have today been reminded that I still have two inactive domains with GD - thought I'd transferred them out, but apparently not. The renewal for one .com and one .info, both with domain privacy, is going to be north of $70, which is outrageous to my mind. I'd let them go, except I've had them a long time and plan to resurrect them at some point.

        Needless to say, they won't be staying on GD, though. With a reputation (last time I looked, which was admittedly a while ago) for shit hosting, a talent for overenthusiastic upselling and eyewatering domain prices I'm surprised they're even still in business.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Sorry guys...

        Not clients, since I am a programmer, but I have a surprisingly long list of people or organizations for which I'm the unofficial tech assistant. The unofficial bit means that, if they say that they're going to have their domain on a site like this, I can only recommend that they consider transferring* once or twice and then I give up. So yes, I do know people who have domains hosted through that registrar, and in at least one case, they also use email and web hosting through some subsidiary of them. I don't know why.

        * Admittedly, I would have recommended the registrar I used, Gandi, which has recently taken a similar approach which means I'm in the market to transfer my domains away from them. So maybe it's for the better that people don't take my advice. I can only say that they have been good for several years before they got bought by someone else and went bad. Still, I put domain registrars in the same category I used to put Windows antimalware programs a while ago: you would find one that seems great and feel confident that you had something, but at some point, you'd have to resume the search as they always change for the worse eventually.

        1. Detective Emil

          Re: Sorry guys...

          … you would find one that seems great and feel confident that you had something, but … they always change for the worse eventually.

          Yes, they're in that particular service-provider category that includes dry cleaners, car-hire companies and airlines.

      3. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Sorry guys...

        I use them to host my domain. There is no web presence; but I've held this domain for several decades, and I basically use it for e-mail.

    2. luminous

      Re: Sorry guys...

      I mostly advise clients not to use them but a small number insist so I go along with it. If anyone knows of a good registrar that has lightening quick DNS and easy to use interface and can cater to .au domains - let me know.

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    "activist" investor

    As we say over here "ich kan net so viel fressen wie ich grad kotzen könnt" (I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit out again now). "Activist investor" is just a made up newspeak term for somebody who is after quick money and will leave the business in tatters, has no long term interest in the company. I would say that for a tech company the biggest treasure lies in the knowledge and skills of their technical staff. Getting rid of them just "to reduce headcount" in a "non central" business will have long term effects. I hope management gives them the "old familiar suggestion" in the "baroque style of New York City's underground wall writers".


    That had to get out.

    At least they did not yet buy GoDaddy with its own money, did they?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "activist" investor

      "At least they did not yet buy GoDaddy with its own money, did they?"

      If an "activist" investor thinks it can run the business it should take it over completely and prove it.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: "activist" investor

        Why do that when you can get Elon Musk to buy it and take the flak for the resulting catastrophe...?

        (Joe W's was on about an LBO: whereby someone takes out a loan against a company's future earnings, uses that to buy the company, and dumps the loan and the cost of servicing it on the company's balance sheet. It's the most insane thing. Any of us could do it, if we could persuade enough bankers to trust us. Just remember to pay yourself a hefty dividend in the early days before you've sunk the company or interest rates have shot up unexpectedly.)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "activist" investor

          They could double down - buy it and put Musk in to run it.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: "activist" investor

        If an "activist" investor thinks it can run the business it should take it over completely and prove it.

        There is actually a precedent for that. Karl Ichan(fuckupanycompanyanywhere) thought he could do a better job running an airline than those who actually could, so he took over TWA and ran it (or tried to). It did not end well...TWA went bankrupt with 3 years, and is now a legendary "fallen flag" in that industry.

      3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: "activist" investor

        Arr an activist investor be not intarrrrested in a company's laaaaoong taaeerm prospects, he be intarrrrested only in plundering the company, driving up the price of the stock in the short taaeerm, then unloading the aarrrrtifically inflated stock price on yon unwitting adventuraaars.

        The icon, she be me flag!

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "activist" investor

      Exactly. When I hear those words, I immediately translate them to "asshole who wants to rake in the money by shredding the company".

      I see nothing here that would change my opinion.

    3. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: "activist" investor

      The vast corporation I work for attracted one of those about 6 or 7 years ago. They bought ~ 3% and started throwing their weight around. Fortunately, the CEO at the time went on the attack and shot down all their claims in various media interviews.

      The upshot was the shareprice rose a little, the activists sold off, and everyone wound up happy.

      It was one of the few good decisions that particular CEO made in my view.

    4. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: "activist" investor

      ""ich kan net so viel fressen wie ich grad kotzen könnt" (I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit out again now). "

      Dang! I Iove that saying! I wonder how that translates into Tagalog...

  3. _Elvi_

    "stock price not doing well"

    no-ones stocks are doing well, these last quarters.

    quit whining, and go sit on your PA, you snotty little twee..

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    Oh, for fux sakes!

    "Unfortunately, despite each of these opportunities remaining, over the last 18 months we have been disappointed by GoDaddy's operational, financial and stock price performance," the letter adds.

    Take your "disappointment" and shove up your ass/arse, you parasite! Or better still, how about you be so disappointed that you sell your shares and leave your disappointment behind, so that adults can continue to run this company successfully.

    "Starboard Blue", eh? Dumbasses, everybody who has even the slightest marine experience knows that starboard is green!

  5. Someone Else Silver badge

    Bingo, Bingo, BINGO!!

    Get your cards ready, mates, for this toothsome morsel that could only come for the orifice of a practiced financial parasite:

    "When combining the opportunity to rationalize certain Technology and Development expenses with other growth and margin improvement opportunities, we believe GoDaddy should commit to delivering a growth and profitability metric of at least 40 percent by the end of 2024. This goal would position GoDaddy to be in line with peers' targets on a similar timeframe."

    Somebody call a Waaah-mbulance!

  6. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Hey! El' Reg!

    Every time you have a story about an "activist investor", you need to take this icon & plaster it all over the page. ------------------>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey! El' Reg!

      Quite. Is there an icon for locusts too? Other biblical plagues might work as well.

      1. Bitbeisser

        Re: Hey! El' Reg!

        Well, they could use a vulture, if there would be a reference to this very site... ;-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    worth the investee. I wish them both all the worst (and that's from half the (long-term) experience with one of them. 'Leech' and 'parasite' are not enough to describe godaddy. And they looked so cute and innocent at the start of my 'relationship' with them...

  8. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Ah, GoDaddy meets an investor with similar motives

    Starboard: "We know you're rubbish, but surely you can be more rubbish?"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just say no, GoDaddy

    Starboard will just rape your company, it’s what they do. “Activist investor” sounds a lot nicer than “shakedown racket”, ,but that’s what they are, the mafia with MBAs.

  10. Groo The Wanderer

    Another vulture trying to drive a perfectly good company into the ground for the sake of short-term profits. I am so sick of the "investment community" and the damage they do.

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