Bob Parsons triggered the controversy after posting an Internet video chronicling his elephant slaying during a trip to Zimbabwe“.
In a copy of a letter that TMZ obtained from PETA sent to Parsons, they “presenting him with its “first-ever Scummiest CEO of the Year Award (Your certificate is on the way)”
PETA “Will be ending our account with Godaddy.com and taking our domain-name business elsewhere and encouraging others to do the same.”
Parsons told TMZ, “I understand PETA has an agenda, but I refuse to go along with their extortion-style practice.”
Parsons claims he was only hunting “problem elephants” ones that destroy the villagers’ crops … adding, “I stand by my decision to help African villagers.”
Other publications have attacked Parsons for his elephant kill as well.
“Now, there are so many things wrong with this video that it’s hard to know where to start. ”
“First off: is it really appropriate to score a scene of hungry villagers in Zimbabwe tearing apart a dead elephant to the tunes of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”?”
“And I can’t be the only one who found it creepy that Parsons had outfitted nearly everyone in the area with bright orange GoDaddy baseball caps.”
“Not to mention the fact that this is all taking place in Zimbabwe, a broken country oppressed by the tyrannical Robert Mugabe, where 64% of the population lives under the poverty line and nearly 100% live in fear. This is one step up from taking spring break in North Korea.”
“It’s been a long time since shooting an elephant has been considered fashionable.”
Even on Parsons own blog people are calling him out:
One person Roanna Martin writes:
“I have to tell you, Mr. Parsons, your attempts to excuse your behavior are lean.”
“You are traveling around the world to give money to one of the most corrupt, violent regimes in the world but you excuse that by saying that you are helping people.”
“Instead of shooting wild elephants with a gun (really brave of you by the way) why not do a man vs. elephant hand to hand combat kind of thing? That could bring money to the locals with the right promotion.”
“Tell me this, if your concern is with the people of Zimbabwe, what charitable acts have you performed there?”
Another person a Gene Taylor commented on his blog:
“I am a fan of Mr. Parsons. I am a fan and customer of Go Daddy! ”
“I have been to Zimbabwe. The elephants are NOT killing the crops and family’s that run the farms, Robert Mugabe is.”
“He is a ruthless dictator.”
“He took a prosperous country that use to have the second highest literacy rate in all of Africa and turned it into a killing field for not only it’s wildlife population, but it’s human population as well. It it not the elephant herds that need culling, it is uninformed trophy hunting tourists who pay huge sums of money just for the thrill of the kill.”
Personally, having listened to Mr. Parsons’ speech at DomainFest I walked away knowing he had a take no prisoners , and do whatever the hell I want, kind of attitude.
But when your the head and sold shareholder of a Billion dollar plus company with thousands of employees, its probably an attitude that needs some adjustment.