Go Daddy Group, the Scottsdale-based domain registry that drew national attention with its controversial Super Bowl television commercial, plans to hire more than 1,200 employees at its newly opened call center in Gilbert.
The center at the El Dorado Tech Center, 2299 W. Obispo Road, opened officially Thursday with seating for between 450 and 500 employees. The company expects to expand employment there to 1,200 during the next year and, eventually to as many as 1,400 full-time staff members, said Bob Parsons, 54, president and founder of Go Daddy.
Parsons, a decorated Vietnam veteran, said the employees at the Gilbert center will receive full employment benefits.
He added that he plans to continue to hire Valley residents and avoid moving his operations offshore.
"We simply are not interested in moving our call centers, or any aspect of our operations, offshore," said Parsons. "We will not sacrifice quality just because it might save a few dollars. In fact, our call center operation is highly profitable, and we would lose money if we opted to offshore."
Full-time call center employees will receive a benefits package containing medical, dental, life insurance and a 401K retirement plan, Parsons said.
Go Daddy employs 575 at its 40,000-square foot headquarters at 14455 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale. It also operates a smaller call center with 40 employees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Parsons started the company in 1984.
Last year the company, which is the world’s largest Internet domain registrar with nearly seven million registered names, reported more than $100 million in revenue. The company expects revenue this year to reach more than $180 million, according to Parsons.
Its new center initially contains about 12,000 square feet, and another 40,000 square feet is expected to be added in the coming year, said Greg Tilque, Gilbert economic development director.
Warren Adelman, chief operating officer for Go Daddy, said Gilbert was selected primarily because many of the company’s employees who now work in Scottsdale live in the Gilbert area.
New employees are also expected to be drawn from the rapidly-growing area in and around Gilbert, Adelman said.
"The city of Gilbert is extremely pleased to have been chosen as the site of the newest Go Daddy call center," said Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman, who participated in Thursday’s opening ceremony.
"It is gratifying to see a homegrown Arizona business attain the level of success and international exposure that Go Daddy has achieved. Go Daddy is a great addition to our business community, and we look forward to their continued growth and presence."
The company, which registers cyber addresses and domain names for $8.95 a year, recently started a radio program, Radio Go Daddy, which can be heard at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on three stations — XM Satellite Radio XM-152, Sirrius Satellite Radio at 148 and KBNP-AM at 1410.
Parsons was repaid an undisclosed amount by the National Football League after the second showing of a Go.Daddy.com commercial was pulled during the Feb. 6 Super Bowl.
The commercial showed a woman whose brassier strap broke while she addressed a group of mostly older men.
Information about applying for jobs at the Gilbert center is available by calling (480) 505-8800 or by going to www.godaddy.com.