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Best of the Valley
Bob Parsons - Motorhead Mogul
November, 2012, Page 112
Photography by Brandon Sullivan
Upon leaving a beloved career, seniors sometimes find it edifying to cultivate a small retirement garden. GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons can relate – except his retirement garden is composed of Ducati superbikes and throaty V-twin choppers, not heirloom tomatoes and spaghetti squash.
Since stepping down as GoDaddy CEO last year, the 61-year-old Internet mogul has immersed himself in his other defining passion: two-wheeled rockets. Launched in 2008, Parson’s Go AZ Motorcycle mall in north Scottsdale has quickly become the Valley’s sport-bike mecca, and he recently opened a Harley-Davidson dealership next door. Parsons, whose net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion by Forbes, could probably makes ends meet without the dealerships, but where would he get his fix?
Since stepping down as CEO of GoDaddy, do you still have the urge to call plays from the owner’s box?
As Executive Chairman of the board, I’m still active at Go Daddy, but at a different level. There are far fewer demands on my time than before I stepped down. Am I tempted to “send in plays” from the owners’ box from time to time? Not exactly. My days of issuing orders at GoDaddy are over. But, from time to time, I offer suggestions... mostly to give the executive team perspective on whatever is in front of them.
How many bikes are in your collection? Any new models you’re excited about?
I have two very cool bikes I just added to my collection. One is a Ducati Monster Diesel edition. It has a nice military-look to it that I just love. It’s very sick. The other is my new Harley-Davidson 2013 V-Rod. It’s a brilliant red that had my attention the moment I glanced at it. Among the many add-ons to this beast are a set of Vance & Hines exhaust pipes that emit a wonderful roar. Also a very sick bike.
What’s the difference between the Harley and the sport-bike crowd?
Basically, the Harley-Davidson crowd likes to ride Harley-Davidsons and loves the lifestyle associated with them. The sport bike crowd likes to ride sport bikes. You might be surprised to know that many, many enthusiasts enjoy both. Like me.
Do you have any GoDaddy-sized ambitions now? What kind of projects are on the horizon?
“GoDaddy-sized ambitions.” I like that. I’m a man in motion these days. We’re creating more than just a motorcycle mall, but “an experience.” If you love motorcycles, this place is the duck’s nuts. Our goal is to make Scottsdale a destination for motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere. And my wife, Renee, and I are doing a lot of work with our charity, The Parsons Foundation. A lot of the work we do is right here in the Phoenix area to help children. And I’m doing a little traveling.
You’re a hunting enthusiast. I understand you were bitten by a leopard in Africa once. What’s the story?
Not much to it. Sometimes you are the hunter, sometimes you are the hunted.
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