By Heather Clancy
October 15, 2015

It is still shockingly rare for male CEOs—or any man for that matter—to show up at the annual Grace Hopper conference celebrating women in computing.

When GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving walked onto the main stage Wednesday in front of close to 12,000 attendees, the person sitting next to me at the Houston convention center hissed in protest. Irving moved quickly to address the elephant in the standing-room-only conference hall, flashing up images from some of the hosting company’s most sexist television campaigns. Now long gone. An apology. Within minutes, my seatmate was applauding his remarks.

Irving isn’t a stranger to the Grace Hopper event. He was featured last fall on a “male allies” panel, having made diversity a cause since joining GoDaddy in 2013. This year, he showed up to present GoDaddy’s new audit of its salary data. As far as I can tell, this is an unprecedented view into how gender and compensation at a high-tech company. Fortunately for him, the results were actually pretty good, near parity in many areas although not-so-good as women become more senior.

From an overall diversity perspective, GoDaddy doesn’t look at that different from other software companies. It has way fewer women on its payroll than Irving thinks is prudent. To get around that balance, his managers are experimenting with ideas such as assigning equal numbers of men and women to strategic projects for balance. “Technology products built by diverse teams are just plain better,” he said. When someone recently started a grassroots group within the company to tackle diversity, more than one-third of the people who joined were men.

I don’t really know how GoDaddy’s salary revelations compare to the tech industry at large. Mainly, that’s because I’ve actually never heard another company talk about this issue before in any kind of detail. Why not, I wonder?

Irving’s larger motive in showing up was to convince other tech CEOs to become far more transparent about their own track records on diversity: “Let yourself be vulnerable, learn to lift the problem from the dark.”


TOP OF MIND

Finally, a chance to look at Square’s IPO papers. The electronic payments company plans to raise $275 million with its initial public offering, according to S-1 documents filed Wednesday. It is losing a lot of money on its partnership with Starbucks: more than $42 million in the past 18 months. The company’s largest shareholder? Co-founder Jack Dorsey, aka the man who is CEO of both Square and Twitter. (Fortune)


TRENDING

Europe wants businesses to disclose data breaches within three days of discovery. The new regulations, which could take effect by early 2018 if approved, carry steep fines for non-compliance. (New York Times)

Netflix fails to appease Wall Street fan base. Even though the company is solidly profitable, it added “only” 800,000 subscribers for its streaming video business during its most recent quarter. Analysts had anticipated 1.2 million. (Fortune)

Two industry veterans will lead the Dell-EMC integration team. Rory Read has led Dell’s enterprise technology since losing his CEO post at Advanced Micro Devices last fall. Howard Elias, currently EMC’s COO, previously held senior positions at Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. So, he clearly has experience with big mergers. (Re/code)

Well-respected former Google exec is now Twitter’s executive chairman. Omid Kordestani, who still holds an advisory role at Alphabet, replaces former CEO Dick Costolo. (Fortune)

Walmart wants to help other companies avoid cloud lock-in. The retailer plans to open source its OneOps technology, which the company uses to move its applications from data center to data center depending on factors such as price or processing needs. (Fortune)

First Data tempers expectations for its IPO. The payments-processing company has priced its IPO at $16 per share, which is $2 less than the low end of its pricing range. It originally was pushing to raise $3 billion. It still has a shot at being the year’s largest IPO. We’ll see today. (BloombergBusiness, Fortune)

 


THE DOWNLOAD

Qualcomm readies itself for 5G with these 3 tech breakthroughs

Carriers and the companies that support them are preparing the next generation of wireless networking called 5G. Consumers will get a potential speed boost for smartphones and tablets—perhaps up to gigabit speeds. But there is far more at stake. That’s because the 5G upgrade is also designed for the Internet of things. Unlike all previous versions of wireless networking, the technology standards setting will involve automakers, hospitals, and industrial conglomerates.

 


BITS AND BYTES

Samsung’s latest smartphone doesn’t run Android. The South Korean company released a second model using its homegrown Tizen software. (Wall Street Journal)

Another chip merger in the works? Analog Devices and Maxim are exploring the benefits of consolidation. (BloombergBusiness)

AMD loses another high-level engineer. Phil Rogers, an AMD Fellow, led the company’s “heterogenous computing” strategy, which integrates central processing and graphics processing tasks onto the same silicon for better efficiency. (eWeek)



ONE MORE THING

Smartphones, the adult version of security blankets? People actually perform better on cognitive tests when they’re nearby. (Journal)

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