GoDaddy helps entrepreneurs create a strong online presence, offering not only a platform to build websites, but also hosting plans, online marketing tools and professional email. Selina Bieber, Vice President for International Markets at GoDaddy, speaks about her go-to productivity trick and also what advice she would offer to someone aspiring to a C-level position.
Describe your current job role.
Currently based in the UAE, my role at GoDaddy is Vice President for International Markets. I’m responsible for supporting top-line business growth across international markets (excluding US, UK, Canada and Australia) with a focus on fostering GoDaddy’s product offering and delving deeper into understanding how GoDaddy can better serve these customers as they come online. Drawing on my extensive experience at GoDaddy and previous roles, my aim is to lead the global team to empower them to deliver GoDaddy’s products and services across these international markets.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
My most memorable achievement at GoDaddy is launching and leading the company’s Digital Transformation journey in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As a prime illustration, my team and I successfully developed and launched the Arabic GoDaddy website to serve our Arabic-speaking customers in the Middle East. My aim has been to lead the team in the region and position GoDaddy as a partner for businesses of all sizes who want to get online.
I have focused on helping businesses in the MENA region to take advantage of digital technologies to help them grow their business. At GoDaddy, we offer tools and services to educate businesses about the benefits of being visible online with a digital presence including a website and e-commerce store along with digital marketing tools and helpful guidance.
GoDaddy has also developed local partnerships with businesses and organisations to support the digital economy by providing tools and educational workshops – such as our collaborations with du Telecom, Arab Fashion Council, Monsha’at in Saudi Arabia and Startups Without Borders, to name a few.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I am an open and understanding person, and this reflects in how I communicate and lead my team. When communicating with my team, I aim to be clear about things as much as possible, which helps in building trust with my team and encourages others to be open too. I adopt a diplomatic approach when communicating, and I understand that there are times when practising ‘firm diplomacy’ is the most effective path, while also valuing the skill of active listening.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Customer experience: GoDaddy puts its customers first and is committed to providing its customers with the best possible user experience, including an integrated suite of online tools to help a business grow. I am interested in finding ways to improve the customer experience, whether that is improved customer service, more intuitive user interfaces, or more personalised marketing.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry?
For anyone aspiring to attain a C-level position in our industry, I’d offer a few key pieces of advice. Firstly, immerse yourself in the industry dynamics but understand the macroeconomic environment and factors that influence Business Continuity. You need to be adaptable and encourage your peers and team to also embrace flexibility to change.
Secondly, network to help gain insights and build relationships. As you have more professional experiences, your network expands, but someone you met a long time ago can help open a door or ideate a topic.
And thirdly, leadership by driving project completion with accountability and understanding of the roles of planning and execution to ensure timely delivery. For leadership it’s understanding how to grow yourself and empower your team, you guide but encourage autonomy and open communications. Empathy, guidance, understanding is important, while also listening to your team and letting their input become part of the whole.
What behaviour or personality trait do you most attribute your success to and why?
In my experience, I firmly believe in the principle of ‘what you see is what you get.’ I’ve worked across diverse markets, cultures and industries and have consistently found that a shared commitment to mutual goals fosters strong relationships. It also facilitates the resolution of any challenges that may arise.
In parallel, I’m curious and quite ambitious. So, I’ll seldom say ‘no’ to taking on something new and that’s helped me learn and develop myself immensely.
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
Personally, I strongly embrace the concept of ‘incubation’, a facet of creative thinking coined by psychologist Graham Wallas in the 1920s, which seems to resonate with my thought process. When confronted with challenges, I ensure I’ve gathered all essential information to evaluate potential solutions. I then allow my mind to subconsciously mull over the matter, enabling a calmer and more rational approach. Revisiting the issue later, I benefit from a fresh perspective that generates novel ideas for crafting solutions.
However, considering time constraints, an agile methodology proves valuable when addressing issues within the VUCA framework (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguity). This involves determining the optimal approach for decision-making and solution creation when dealing with intricate problems.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
Prior to taking on the role as Vice President for International Markets, I was Senior Regional Director for GoDaddy and oversaw our commercial operations. This allowed me to expand on the work I’d done in MENA across business and marketing and focus on product-let business growth.
This was valuable to dive into the more technical foundation of our product portfolio and work to build commercial success against our corporate strategy and goals.
In my new role, I centre my efforts on international markets, acknowledging their unique position in the on-going global Digital Transformation. It is of utmost importance to me to actively listen, comprehend and adapt to the distinctive needs of these markets. GoDaddy’s mission is to empower individuals who, historically, may not have had the chance to start businesses and uplift their families, thereby creating new opportunities for themselves and their loved ones. We at GoDaddy are all dedicated to contributing to this mission.
I’m also dedicated to developing and evolving GoDaddy’s mission to empower entrepreneurs everywhere, making opportunities more inclusive for all and supporting our customers in the most effective way.Click below to share this article