Domain registrar Go Daddy announced today that it has hired former Microsoft and Yahoo products executive Blake Irving to be its CEO.
We just spent 10 minutes on the phone with Irving to discuss his hire.
Here’s a lightly edited version of the Q&A:
Business Insider: Why join Go Daddy?
Blake Irving: “Love the brand, like what the company has done for me and I see a lot of places I see where this company can go.”
Business Insider: Your experience has been in consumer products. Go Daddy is for small businesses. Ready for that challenge?
Irving: “Everyone one of Go Daddy’s customers has their own end-user consumers. We’re going to build the products that allow them to do that.”
Business Insider: In the press release announce your hire, you say: “there still remains much more we can do to enhance the customer experience.” Like what?
Irving: In the near term, there are things the team is already working on. In the longer term: Think about how a company actually runs their business today. Think about thow they communicate using mobile and social technology. Go Daddy can build a platform for small businesses to do as many things as they possibly can. Longer term: Think of all the GD customers. That’s 11 million small businesses. What if that was a network of sites that all knew about each other, and every customer that joined those 11mm sites. Maybe Go Daddy could be about not just enabling a small business about enabling the small business category.”
Business Insider: Are you going to continue with Go Daddy’s ads, which some people describe as sexist? Is the brand going to change?
Irving: “I think that edginess of Go Daddy’s brand contributes to the value to the company. I do think over time the customer value proposition and what we’ve done for customers has to start showing up in advertising. You’ve already seen that start.”
Business Insider: What have you learned from Microsoft and Yahoo CEOs that will inform how you work as a CEO?
Irving: “The CEOs that I have worked for and admire set a vision and strategy and were very consistent about executing against it. They made practical decisions. They were incredibly open and honest and moved the ball forward in a way that is quick and customer-responsive and customer-focused.”