GoDaddy Says Revenue to Exceed Prior Guidance; Announces Layoffs and Closures

GoDaddy

GoDaddy Inc., the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs, continues to grow in the face of global economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has seen strong demand in its business, led by Domains and its Websites + Marketing offering, and management now expects second quarter revenue to exceed previously issued guidance of $790 million by approximately 1%.

Notwithstanding the strength in the business, the company faces challenges in U.S. outbound sales, specifically, soft customer demand for certain higher-priced, do-it-for-you services such as GoDaddy Social, and reduced effectiveness of outbound calling to customers. Given these challenges and continued uncertainty resulting from COVID-19, the company implemented a restructuring to address the sustainability of its U.S. outbound sales and operations. The restructuring impacts approximately 814 employees, who are either departing, relocating, or transitioning to other roles. In connection with the restructuring, the Company estimates it will incur approximately $15 million of pre-tax restructuring charges for the payment of severance and related benefit costs and has determined that certain lease assets with a book value of approximately $58 million are impaired.

Management does not expect the changes to have a material incremental impact to revenue, beyond the headwinds in impacted areas of the business that have been previously disclosed. In light of the strong demand in its business the company expects to reinvest cost savings from the changes to drive further growth. Details can be found in the Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani sent the following email to GoDaddy employees this morning.

Over the last three months, we’ve come together to support each other through an unprecedented set of challenges brought on by COVID-19. I appreciate the effort from all GoDaddy team members.

In recent town halls, many have been eager for an update to the 90-day financial certainty commitment for Q2. While those 90 days are not over, I said I would come back to you in June with clarity on the path forward.

Sadly, I must share with you, that even as our overall business continues to perform well and we are updating our revenue guidance for Q2 as evidence of that, we are still facing challenges in U.S. outbound sales, including GoDaddy Social sales. The outbound sales teams have made many creative efforts over the last three months to reverse the impacts of COVID-19, but the results of these improvements are still far below what we need for the operations to be sustainable.

In addition, we’ve learned our sales teams are more effective when they are together, in a high energy in-office environment, and yet we are faced with the challenge of adjusting our office facilities for safety in a COVID-19 world. We’ve decided to form a single Sales Center of Excellence in Gilbert, Arizona, which impacts our Iowa-based inbound sales teams.

Consequently, we have made the decision to restructure our sales functions leading to 814 team members impacted, with over 40% being offered alternate roles. Impacted team members are in Arizona outbound sales, Iowa sales, GoDaddy Social teams, and supporting corporate roles. Impacted team members are either departing, moving to a similar role, or being presented with the option to assume a role on another team.

For those who are departing, today will be an incredibly difficult day.

For those with new roles, the transition will have its challenges.

For those remaining here, it will be difficult to say goodbye.

For a company where we talk about team members as part of the GoDaddy family, I know that today will cause a tear in our core fabric and it will take time to mend.

Our departing team members’ last day will be September 1. The transition package provides a path to at least another 90 days of financial certainty, which is detailed later in this email.

We’ve thoroughly reviewed the entire company, and these are the only changes we plan to make. The details of the changes are listed below:

  • Arizona outbound sales: COVID-19 and regulatory developments that limit how we can contact our customers have significantly impacted the effectiveness of outbound sales in the U.S. As such, we are moving 213 Arizona-based CDT team members to inbound sales and support, and adjusting our leadership ratio, impacting 9 supervisors.
  • Iowa Sales: We’ve decided to form a single Sales Center of Excellence in Gilbert, Arizona. This impacts 134 of our sales team members in Iowa. Our sales teams in Iowa will be offered a role in Arizona, and those sales team members who moved into sales from Inbound will have the opportunity to move back to Inbound support in Iowa. We want to make these alternate roles work, but if a team member cannot accept them, then we will honor the same transition package as departing team members.
  • GoDaddy Social Sales:The Social team in Austin has turned over every stone in the last three months to address the seismic shift caused by COVID-19. While the team made strides in selling our new lower-cost offering, with reduced demand and economics under pressure, we cannot continue to sell these products the way we do today. As a result, 331 team members from the sales team will be departing GoDaddy.
  • GoDaddy Social Service and Customer Success:With the expected drop of new GoDaddy Social customers, we are reducing the size of Social Fulfillment and Customer Success teams by 120 team members. We strongly believe in the value of do-it-for-you (DIFY) social services. So, our remaining GoDaddy Social teams will serve our customers and innovate on a new offering that is reflective of the market conditions. Our Warm Leads team will continue selling to qualified customer leads, as part of our Services group.
  • Supporting corporate roles: Related to these changes, 7 team members in supporting roles will also be departing.
  • Austin facilities: Our facilities in Austin carry unique costs and complexities, so we will be closing both Austin locations. Our remaining GoDaddy Social team members will continue to work from home. We’ll be assessing our corporate real estate  across all of GoDaddy, knowing we’ll need to use our space differently in a COVID-19 world. With  the exception of Austin, no decisions have been made regarding other office locations.

Our transition package is comprised of two parts:

Administrative Leave

  • Departing team members will be placed on paid administrative leave today and are no longer expected to work. The official last day for all departing team members will be September 1 and they will be paid (inclusive of base and sales incentive pay) through September 1.
  • They will maintain their same healthcare benefits through September 30.
  • In addition, departing team members will be offered three months of outplacement services for job search support, and employee assistance through our employee assistance program through the end of the year.

Severance Package

  • Severance beyond September 1 provides two weeks of pay, for each completed year of service, with a minimum of four weeks.
  • Starting October 1, 2020, GoDaddy will provide elected healthcare coverage (Medical/Dental/Vision) through December 31, 2020. We will pay the COBRA premiums in full.
  • Upon signing a standard separation agreement, the severance package above (pay and healthcare coverage) will be effective, with the severance payment being made on September 7, 2020.

What impacted team members can expect next:

  • An email from their leader with next steps and the actions they need to take today.
  • A meeting where their leader will outline the changes, the options where appropriate, and the transition package details.
  • An optional meeting with People Ops to review the transition package and ask questions.
  • A one-on-one meeting with a leader or People Ops, upon request, by emailing hr@godaddy.com.

To our departing team members –

Please know that these changes are a function of our current environment and are not a reflection on any one individual or team. You are talented folks who have contributed positively to the company. The core of the GoDaddy business continues to be strong and we will look to hire team members back as we continue to grow.

Our goal is to make the transition as respectful and supportive as possible. We are here to answer your questions and listen to your concerns.

GoDaddy’s mission to empower everyday entrepreneurs and make opportunity inclusive for all has never been more important. We will continue to serve our customers and strive to realize our vision where independent entrepreneurial ventures drive the global economy. We reach this vision by joining forces and being better every day. For some, our paths diverge today; I wish you well and hope our paths cross again.

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