Is it right for a CEO to shoot and kill an elephant?

When we go on holiday we all tend to take photos and maybe even some videos. Most of the time we will keep them to ourselves or possibly share them with friends on Facebook.

Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy.com (one of the biggest internet-hosting firms) took a holiday video and last week posted it online.

Unfortunately it wasn’t a nice view as it showed him shooting and killing an elephant whilst he was on holiday in Zimbabwe.

Aside from the discussion as to the rights and wrongs of killing animals for sport it raises a question as to what responsibility a senior executive has for ensuring that he or she doesn’t damage the image or reputation of the company they represent.

Mr Parsons appears to be quite happy about the publicity. He defended his actions by saying that he was doing the local villagers a favour as the elephant was a “problem elephant” that had destroyed local crops.

PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters responded to Mr Parsons by saying that he was “hiding behind the lame claim that killing elephants help farmers in Africa whose crops are damaged by the animals. In fact, there are ample effective and nonlethal methods to deter elephants from crops, including using chilli-infused string and beehives on poles to create low-cost fences. Instead of coming up with flimsy excuses for killing these highly intelligent and social animals, Parsons should use his wealth to fund humane solutions to human/elephant conflicts”.

PETA have understandably also taken their account away from GoDaddy and have created a special award for Mr Parsons. He is now the proud holder of the “Scummiest CEO of the year award”.

In a very quick move one of GoDaddy’s competitors, namecheap, has launched a domain transfer scheme for GoDaddy customers to switch their domain hosting to namecheap for a pretty low price of $4.99. Namecheap will also donate £1 for each transfer to the elephant charity www.savetheelephants.org.

In a nice touch the code needed to sign up for the low price hosting on namecheap is “BYEBYEGD”.

The ExP Group