GoDaddy Founder Bob Parsons gives back $8Million PPP

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I believe everyone in the industry knows GoDaddy – The worlds largest domain registrar, it was founded by Bob Parsons back in 1997 under the name Jomax Technologies which later rebranded to become GoDaddy as we know it today and it made Bob Parsons a very wealthy man, when he exited in 2011 he walked away with nearly $900 Million in cash and still owned a minority state in the business which he subsequently sold a few years later, according to – Bob Parsons is worth $2.7 Billion Dollars however he says this will have taken a dive with many of his businesses reporting losses and write-downs due to the coronavirus – Stating collectively his businesses have lost $500 Million in Value already this year.

However even being a billionaire, Bob still received a PPP stimulus cheque for $8 Million Dollars to assist his 16 different companies, but after a few weeks of receiving Bob Parsons has decided to return all of the money to the US Government – Read more about the story from Forbes here. 

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Full Article is below

After stay-at-home orders led Bob Parsons to lay off 25 employees at his exclusive Scottsdale National Golf Club in March, the 69-year-old billionaire applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

He received $8 million to spread out among his 16 businesses on April 13. But last week, the founder of domain-name registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy had a change of heart and gave the money back to the federal government.

“There’s many other businesses that needed it more than we do, so we felt like it was only right to give it back,” Parsons says. “It took a little soul-searching—that’s a sweet deal—but I’ve never been above doing the right thing, and that was the right thing.”

Initially, Parsons had planned on reducing his more than 900 employees “across the board” in mid-March. At that time, the value of his investments in his private hedge fund, YAM Investments, had dropped by $700 million. He says he was able to give the 25 people he laid off six weeks of severance. Though the pandemic has affected almost all of his diverse portfolio of businesses—including the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in North America and golf club maker Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG)—Parsons says he hasn’t had to fire or furlough anyone since.

Bob Parsons knows what it’s like to have nothing. He grew up “poor as a church mouse” in inner-city Baltimore and struggled in school, flunking the fifth grade. After failing again in 12th grade, Parsons enlisted in the Marines and was sent to Vietnam at the height of the war. He received three medals during his tour, including the Purple Heart.

But it’s been a long time since Parsons has wanted for anything. Following his return from Vietnam, Parsons enrolled at the University of Baltimore and after graduating magna cum laude, he became a CPA and took a job at the computer firm Control Data. By 1984, he had launched his own software company, Parsons Technology, and sold it a decade later to Intuit for $64 million.

In 1997, Parsons was looking for his next act and founded Jomax Technologies, a web design firm. Within a few years, he changed the name to GoDaddy and began selling domain names. Parsons sold the majority of GoDaddy, which became famous for its racy, often sexist, Super Bowl ads, to private equity investors in 2011. By Forbes’ estimate, Parsons pocketed roughly $900 million in cash at the time; he sold off the last of his shares in the now publicly traded company in 2018. Over the years, he’s started more than a dozen other entrepreneurial projects. He’s poured an estimated $600 million into commercial real estate in Arizona. In addition to the golf club, he currently owns shopping malls, the Harley dealerships, an ad agency, a film production company and PXG, among others.

Since the shutdown started, Parsons says his businesses have collectively lost $500 million in value. But he isn’t too worried.

“That’s where it is now, but as the country opens up, I expect things to start rocking and rolling because the economy has literally had a couple trillion dollars pumped into it,” Parsons says, speaking of the government’s $2 trillion stimulus package. “I’ve got to believe that’s going to help.”

In fact, Parsons says his hedge fund has bounced back since March and is currently down $400 million in value. To his surprise, many of his retail tenants have been able to pay rent. Now, he’s hiring 20 new employees at the Scottsdale National Golf Club. “I believe maybe in June, July or August, I’ll be back to where I was, if not better,” he says. “Don’t feel sorry for me—I’ll be back.”

About the Author

Robbie Ferguson is an Internet Entrepreneur, Domain Investor, Domain Broker, Blogger and founder of various websites and eCommerce businesses such as

2 Comments on "GoDaddy Founder Bob Parsons gives back $8Million PPP"

  1. My question is he is a billionaire and why would he even apply for the stimulus in the first place.
    Looks like some kind of publicity stunt.

    • I think a lot of people automatically applied and then realised the possible backlash. Also he will be a billionaire on paper not necessarily cash if he has invested in a lot of property deals etc.

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