Monday, April 4, 2011

How Go Daddy's Founder May Have Killed the Goodwill Towards His Charity

We regret in many ways to posting last weeks story about GoDaddy's philanthropy and the acclaim that it has received recently for it. Since then  Bob has posted a video on his personal website,  of his shooting an elephant in Africa. ( I am linking to his site, not the video itself).  It is a graphic portrayal of this shooting in a village in Africa where an elephant has destroyed the villagers' livelihood and food supply, their crops of sorghum and other plants. To add to the upsetting scene of the killing is the sickening scene of the villagers ravaging the animal for meat.

The video and the act itself has brought GoDaddy an enormous amount of criticism and bad publicity. Bob Parsons justifies his act as helping the starving African villagers. Judging from the video there seems to be no doubt they are impoverished and hungry.

I can't begin to understand  the complexity of the problem and what the solution might be. But certainly Bob Parsons has the resources to do have done some intense research, bring in a variety of environmental and economic experts, and at least try some innovative solutions here.  Even had this been the correct solution, justifying the life of one elephant over the lives of many people, the braggadocio of displaying it on his website is - well- disgusting.

Solving problems by throwing money at them are rarely good enough. Saving societal problems by hunting and killing has some deep consequences. GoDaddy and its founder has done some inspirational philanthropy,  but one of the consequences of this elephant killing is that good will towards GoDaddy for its worthwhile charitable efforts may have been killed too.


Elena Patrice said...


This is an extremely well-written post. What an interesting story and how this will play out will be even more interesting. It's an incredibly sad situation in Africa and just the word "starvation" itself is so bleak, I cannot fathom the thought of what that much truly be like - my heart aches.

I think you assessment of Mr. Parson's and his website is spot on and I couldn't agree more! It's fascinating to hear/read the comments and what people's thoughts are. I find some these equally as disturbing.

You sum it up beautifully in your last paragraph and if I was a betting woman, my money would be on your closing sentence.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and addressing this very touchy situation.

Much kindness,


Lalia Helmer said...

Thanks Elena for your comment. You are right that it will be interesting to see how this will play out, and whether Mr Parson's will be able to create a more integrated personal and philanthropic vision.