Parsons steps down from GoDaddy board of directors

By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Bob and Renee Parsons’ Foundation
Bob and Renee Parsons

Nearly four months after purchasing Westgate Entertainment District, GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons resigned from his company’s board of directors Oct. 5.

Parsons resigned from the Scottsdale-based business on Friday to “devote his full-time efforts to the array of businesses he created under the Yam WorldWide Umbrella,” according to a press release.

“It’s hard to describe how proud I am of the magnificent enterprise GoDaddy has become,” Parsons said. “The companies I created outside of GoDaddy now demand my full-time attention, so it’s time for me now to resign my seat on the GoDaddy board and focus solely on Yam WorldWide.”

Current GoDaddy CEO Scott Wagner said in a statement that the company will miss Parsons’ contributions.

“(Parsons) embodies entrepreneurialism, and his imagination, drive and grit continue in the spirit of GoDaddy,” Wagner said. “His original vision for the company inspires and guides us today.”

Parsons founded GoDaddy in 1997 in an effort to allow users to have their own piece of digital real estate, offering website domains at a discounted price. He served as CEO from 1997 through 2011, when he sold it to a private equity consortium, but then served as executive chairman of the board until 2014, when he assumed a seat as board director.

In 2012, Parsons created YAM Worldwide, a holding company with businesses in industries from sports to advertising to furniture manufacturing.

YAM Worldwide purchased the 76-acre Westgate for $133 million, $9 million less than anticipated, when the property was put up for sale in April.

“The potential at Westgate is huge,” Parsons said in a written statement in July. “Westgate currently offers visitors a wide variety of entertainment options, but we’re looking to develop features that will entice even more visitors and residents to this unique and vibrant Valley location.”

Since 2012, former Westgate owner iStar added more than 50 retail and office leases totaling in excess of 260,000 square feet, converted two floors of vacant office space into 76 luxury loft-style residential units, and brought to the district multiple new entertainment opportunities.

Parsons and his wife, Renee, have also founded the Bob and Renee Parsons’ Foundation, which “deals in hope by partnering with community organizations striving to make a difference,” according to the foundation’s website.

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