Go Daddy Hops on Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley Wave

By Sharon Simonson

SUNNYVALE—Domain-naming company Go Daddy.com plans to double its employee count in Sunnyvale to 80 by yearend and expects to add even more workers in 2014 as the Scottsdale, Arizona, company claims Silicon Valley as its new “tech hub.”

Blake Irving Go Daddy Sunnyvale The Registry real estateEven as Go Daddy christened its 8,160-square-foot downtown Sunnyvale offices Feb. 11, the company’s chief executive said it had acquired the valley’s M.dot Inc. and has already begun searching for additional office space.

M.dot is a mobile application for Web site creation whose target customers like Go Daddy’s are entrepreneurs, start-ups and small enterprises seeking to grow. “It is a killer app to help our customers create a mobile site and manage that site from a phone,” Chief Executive Blake Irving (pictured) said. “It’s fast and fun and easy. It’s a great way to help small businesses connect with customers wherever they are in the world.”

Go Daddy hosts five million small business Web sites, has 11 million customers and 54 million domains under management. The new Sunnyvale location also houses workers from Outright.com, a cloud-based financial-management application company that Go Daddy acquired in July of 2012. Outright, which was located in Mountain View, had 200,000 small-business customers at the time of its purchase.

“Go Daddy is extremely excited to extend its reach into Silicon Valley,” Irving said. “The amazing talent in Silicon Valley is unmatched. We are hiring, and there is going to be a stronger push in the Bay Area for us to acquire talent. This will be a tech hub for us.”

Irving is a long-time valley executive who joined Go Daddy in December. He came to the Web-hosting company from Yahoo! Inc., where he was chief product officer, and before that spent 15 years at Microsoft Corp. in Mountain View in various executive capacities. Most recently he was corporate vice president of the Windows Live Platform.

The new Go Daddy offices, on the ground floor of the Sunnyvale City Center, join a growing cluster of high-profile high-tech companies locating in the central Silicon Valley town, in this case near Sunnyvale’s rapidly evolving Town Center, adjacent to a Caltrain station.

Apple Inc. and Nokia Inc. each have leased a full office building of 156,000 square feet at the Sunnyvale Town Center. Just outside of Go Daddy’s front doors, San Francisco’s BRE Properties and Carmel Partners are building hundreds of apartments. An existing Target and Macy’s anchor an expanding retail cluster. More than a dozen homegrown restaurants line the town’s traditional downtown core, South Murphy Avenue, two blocks away. Go Daddy employees live both in the apartments nearby and commute from San Francisco, Irving said.

Go Daddy was represented in its lease negotiations by Michael P. Saign, a vice president with Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank in Santa Clara.

“I am very familiar with the valley, with Mountain View and Sunnyvale. I am a huge fan of Sunnyvale because of its central location and the investment in Sunnyvale in the last few years. It’s a place where you can have a great office presence and a wonderful lifestyle,” Irving said.

It is not only at the Town Center where Sunnyvale is seeing dramatic change. A mile away, huge earth moving equipment and workers in hard hats navigate around huge piles of construction debris including jagged concrete pieces and tangled rebar. LinkedIn Corp. has cleared a huge site of multiple commercial buildings at West Maude and North Mathilda avenues and is buildings its new corporate headquarters campus. Down the street, the steel beams of a curved midrise building replacing an old U.S. Post Office have been formed to house another operation for Apple Inc.

In unveiling Go Daddy’s Sunnyvale space, Irving said, “It’s a new office, but it has the instantly recognizable attributes that you would find in any Silicon Valley campus—foosball, a pingpong table and the super-bright minds and super high-energy folks working closely together.”

Photos courtesy of Go Daddy

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