GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons
recently returned from safari in Africa, and uploaded a video of his adventures to the web. This may seem innocuous enough, but the video was about Parsons' elephant hunt, where he hunts and kills "problem" elephants. The video shows the elephants being shot at, Parsons posing with the killed bull, and a group of locals in GoDaddy hats butchering the animal for its meat.
Parsons says that his hunt was beneficial for the locals, whose crops are sometimes destroyed by raiding elephants. But his explanation has failed to quell critics. PETA
, (whose site happens to be hosted by GoDaddy), has dubbed him "the scummiest CEO of the year" and announced its intention to switch hosts. A rival company, NameCheap, has offered a special deal to new customers who transfer from GoDaddy where 20% of their fees will go towards elephant conservation. Others are simply criticizing Parsons for spending what is a no-doubt substantial sum of money to kill elephants, instead of providing non-lethal ways to locals for defending their crops.
Though Parsons' critics have been vocal, their criticisms are unlikely to lead to many direct repercussions for the elephant-killing CEO. GoDaddy is a privately held company, and Parsons does not answer to a board of directors, nor does the popular reaction for or against him have any impact on the company's stock. As it appears that Parsons was engaged in a legal elephant hunt it is almost certain that charges will not be brought against him. But whether Parsons' elephant shoot was smart PR is an entirely different matter.
The video is embedded below. Be warned, it is graphic.