Keith Connolly employment allegations: Defending our inclusive culture

Diversity is part of who we are

As a global company, GoDaddy gets its share of frivolous lawsuits and unfounded allegations. This week, however, one allegation making the rounds in the media is so incredible and counter to our culture that we feel compelled to comment.

GoDaddy employees are the heart and soul of the company, each with their own unique background, characteristics and beliefs — diversity is simply part of who we are.

Our inclusive culture, however, has been called into question by the allegations of Keith Connolly. It would be a disservice to the employees of GoDaddy to allow this to go on without sharing our side of the story.

Background

In April 2014, Mr. Connolly applied for a developer position with GoDaddy and participated in on-site interviews. Based on these interviews, GoDaddy determined that Connolly did not demonstrate the skills required for the job and, on May 1, 2014, GoDaddy informed Connolly that his application for employment was denied (the “Denial Email”).

Almost one year later, Connolly alleged that the Denial Email contained another email, apparently sent on April 29, 2014, which stated: “about keith he’s great for the job in skills but he looks worse for wear do we really want an obeese christian? is that what our new image requries of us” (sic). Based on that email, Connolly alleged he was denied employment with GoDaddy because of his “religion and physical appearance.”

Investigation

GoDaddy immediately launched a thorough investigation. The results clearly demonstrated that the alleged April 29, 2014, email was neither created, nor sent by, GoDaddy. The investigation produced the following objective evidence:

  • The alleged April 29 email does not exist in Mr. Connolly’s applicant profile, which is maintained in GoDaddy’s recruiting-management software. The Denial Email was a single, stand-alone email with no forwarded or attached message contained in it.
  • The activity log in Mr. Connolly’s profile does not reflect any activity whatsoever on April 29, 2014.
  • GoDaddy’s recruiting-management software vendor searched its servers and found no record of the alleged April 29 email. Additionally, the software does not allow a forwarded or attached message to be included in a form rejection email, like the one received by Connolly.
  • Our software vendor also confirmed that when an email is sent from its system, the “TO” email address will always be the recipient’s original address, not an encrypted one. Here, however, the “TO” email address contained in the alleged April 29 email is an encrypted address: jmrut12sr@[software vendor].

Notably, Connolly waited almost one year to notify GoDaddy of the alleged April 29 email, allowing the statute of limitations for any employment law claim to expire. Connolly demanded an apology from GoDaddy. GoDaddy, however, will not apologize for a message that it did not send.

Given all of this evidence, it remains GoDaddy’s conclusion that the alleged April 29 email is not an authentic message. GoDaddy is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and it is proud of its diverse culture and employee base.

Inclusive culture

Not surprisingly, we’ve had numerous employees reach out in defense of our inclusive culture. One employee shared, “This is the best job I’ve ever had and the most equal opportunity employer I’ve ever worked for. I will GLADLY stand and fight for GoDaddy.” The employee noted that he was of a similar build to Connolly and devoutly religious himself. He’s not alone — employees of all backgrounds, sizes and faiths have shared similar comments. It reinforces our firm belief that the value of diversity is witnessed every day in our company’s culture.

GoDaddy is a collection of thousands of extraordinary, passionate and diverse individuals united by a singular vision — to shift the global economy in favor of small business. We continue to encourage qualified applicants of all backgrounds to apply for open positions at the company and join us.

Auguste Goldman
As head of GoDaddy's People Operations group, Auguste leads the charge to hire and develop the greatest team of talented individuals on the planet. Having previously led technology teams as GoDaddy's CIO (including Product Development, IT Operations, Information Security and R&D) Auguste brings a perspective and skillset to human resources that is unique in the industry. Prior to 2010, Auguste served as Managing Director of Integralis Security Services in Stockholm, Sweden and CTO of Linde AG, the world’s largest natural gas company based in Munich, Germany. Auguste attended Dartmouth College and speaks Swedish and basic Russian.