GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman has had his job for a week. Not exactly a great week to start! But I chatted with the guy for his take on the company's SOPA surrender. Is he against SOPA? No.
Citing "quite a bit of feedback from our customers," Adelman tried to explain GoDaddy's abrupt 180 on the bill. He wouldn't admit that boycotts and near-universal criticism of his firm had anything to do with the decision. Rather, mirroring the statement his company's PR smokestack put out earlier today, he he just doesn't believe SOPA is "ready in its current form." And everyone yelling about SOPA on the internet showed him the light. But when I asked him what aspects of the bill he took issue with, he refused to elaborate at all. Which is odd, given that the company had helped form the bill: "At a certain point we became involved where we provided commentary and provisions on this legislation that addressed areas that people had concern around," Adelman said. What areas did GoDaddy help with? No comment.
So is GoDaddy now in the anti column, alongside Facebook, Google, and AOL?
They're out of the ring entirely. Adelman said GoDaddy would be willing to resume its support of SOPA if there were a "consensus" among "internet leadership," but wouldn't tell me what such a consensus would even resemble. Given that neither the likes of Google or UMG are going to budge anytime soon, fathoming any kind of consensus is difficult. "I can't tell you what consensus looks like," he said—and neither can I, because it's so enormously unlikely. At the same time, Adelman refused to go on the record to say GoDaddy is against SOPA either.
Given this, it's safe to say GoDaddy is going to keep its foot in its mouth in a state of PR neutrality and watch the rest of the battle play out, scared into the corner by the threat of lost business and a horrendous reputation. But don't expect this to be the last time GoDaddy gets involved with Congress—Adelman told me he believes the company's influence was "part and parcel of democracy." Shady domain registration services helping draft legislation that regulates their businesses—The American Way.