When 21-year PwC veteran Mark McCaffrey decided that it was time to open his post-PwC career, he briefed the firm’s U.S leadership about his plans, diligently outlined 24 months of departure prep, and set aside an extra helping of patience.
Two weeks later, he had a CFO job offer from publicly traded Internet domain company GoDaddy.
“At the time, I thought that I’d have a couple of years to figure out what my next step was going to be,” recalls McCaffrey, whose 2021 CFO appointment was notable not just for the speed with which McCaffrey landed the role but also for the substance behind the match that was made.
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CFOTL: Tell us about GoDaddy … what is this company about today, and what are its offerings?
McCaffrey: Things have been fantastic at GoDaddy, which has been going through a transformation. I think think that we all know the brand very well from its domain days and our old Super Bowl ads. Fifteen years later, I still get asked, “Hey, are you going to do a Super Bowl ad again?” We’ve moved on from this for obvious reasons, but our focus has never changed from empowering entrepreneurs. A lot of people like to talk about small businesses, but we’re really the friend of the micro business. We’re the dreamer. We’re the person who has the idea that they want to do something different. I like to call them the underdogs, right? It’s the mom-and-pop shop down the road from you that you love to go into, that you love to support. They’re competing against such bigger players with such breadth and scale, and they just want to reach more customers. In essence, we have developed what I refer to now as the operating system for these people.Read More
They don’t want to deal with 10 different apps to run their business. They want to go to one place. They want help from one customer service. One of our secret sauces for years has been what we call our “care guides,” who just love engaging with entrepreneurs to help them out. We’ve developed a system that helps you with everything from your domain to your email, to your website, to your in-store presence, and now even to accepting payments for you. We allow the entrepreneur to do everything, and they only have to go to one place. We’re a one-stop shop.
Just think about even the ability to sell on social media, right? You have multiple different channels. We allow our customers to connect within each of these channels and provide them with a centralized dashboard that allows them to respond to their customers and reach them on a global basis. One thing that we learned during the pandemic was that everyone wants to be everywhere now. You never know what’s going to happen in life. Maybe people won’t be able to go to the store for a week because things are shut down, but they’ll still want to buy from you online.
My favorite customer story? Here in California, there was a husband and a wife and their kids who were selling out of their living room. They were using all of our products and decided to open their first storefront. Then they decided to import goods from India to sell in the local market. Seeing them be able to adopt our technology and get things into their system and get them out quickly and get value for it all was just fantastic.
This was one of the things that attracted me to GoDaddy at the beginning: We feel the mission. We feel it and live it every day. We help to support the underdog. We have 21 million customers. We have over 13 million interactions with our customers every year. Almost 25% of the Internet passes through our servers because of our domain presence. We have a lot of data, and we’re really only at the beginning of our journey right now.
“Be transparent. Your position is influential on how stakeholders and investors view the company, so transparency matters in everything that you do. Trust is hard to earn but far easier to lose. Be open and tell people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. Think strategically. As a CFO, you’re not just managing and overseeing finances for the company but also contributing to its strategic direction. Look at the industry dynamics and competitive landscape to inform decisions and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep up to speed with technology changes, as new technologies seem to appear every day. Adopt those that align with your business, train your team on them, and integrate them into your company. Embrace learning about unfamiliar technologies; it’s okay to not know everything. Dedicate time to understanding them. Take risks. You can play it safe and keep things the same, but as a new CFO, when you are brought in, you have the ability to present new, bold ideas that can lead your company to do amazing things in and beyond the space in which they already are.” –Mark McCaffrey, CFO, GoDaddy
GoDaddy | www.godaddy.com | Tempe, AZ