Jan Brewer and Go Daddy celebrate new facility

Gov. Jan Brewer pushes her high-heeled shoe into wet clay as part of what effectively served as a groundbreaking ceremony for an expanded operation of web site host Go Daddy in Tempe. The company plans to move some workers from an existing facility but anticipates adding 300 new workers over the next few years.

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

Web-hosting giant Go Daddy announced Tuesday it will be expanding its operations in Arizona, adding 300 employees.

The company is constructing a new building in the Arizona State University Research Park. Blake Irving, the firm's chief executive, said the first occupants will be moved from an existing smaller facility about two miles down the road.

But he figures the company overall will hire about 500 new workers by 2014, including engineers, developers and those involved in customer care.

Go Daddy will keep its existing headquarters in Scottsdale plus another facility in Gilbert. Overall the company has about 3,400 workers, about 2,600 of these in Arizona.

The new jobs, though, come at a cost.

Sandra Watson, president of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the company is eligible for a job-creation tax credit of $9,000 over three years for each new worker. On top of that, Go Daddy can get up to $5,000 in training costs covered by the state for each employee, subject to a company match.

But Watson said Arizona was competing against other states to land what she said will be high-paying jobs.

"This is where Go Daddy started,'' Irving said at Tuesday's press conference. He said the privately held company is now worth $1.4 billion and has 11 million customers and hosting 55 million Internet domains worldwide.

He said the move to the research park makes sense.

"We're going to establish offices where the talent is,'' Irving said, citing "a great talent base'' at ASU.

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