GoDaddy and the Holy Grail: Equal Access to Top Performance Reviews

By Adina Sterling, Sheila Melvin
2020 | Case No. SM318B | Length 8 pgs.

GoDaddy had long been known for polarizing television commercials that were focused on generating attention and buzz—CNBC called its brand “synonymous with controversial advertisements with scantily clad women.” But the company decided that the ads did not appropriately reflect its internal culture and in 2013 undertook a transformation intended to shift its external brand to reflect its actual culture and to champion its diverse customers. In the process, GoDaddy partnered with the VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab at Stanford University and set out to make their company a top workplace for women in technology. Among the key issues it worked to address were the calibration, or talent review, sessions at which the performance of GoDaddy employees was discussed; performance ratings that resulted from these meetings impacted career trajectory, promotion, equity, and salaries. GoDaddy decided to pursue the “Holy Grail:” helping with career advancement through equal access to top performance marks.

Learning Objective

Teach students how to design equitable promotion practices.

This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff only. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download