Hotwire Reviews

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Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg
Henrik Kjellberg
5 Ratings

Pros
  • There is work/life balance though but that's because I don't think people want to stay any longer at work then they have to (in 33 reviews)

  • Great benefits - good location - flexible schedule (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance are non-existent depending on the group (in 4 reviews)

  • If you're looking for career growth, you need to make sure you are on your manager's radar at all times (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Great 9-5 place if you want to chill.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Not Sure Anymore in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Not Sure Anymore in South San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hotwire is a good place to work if you want to chill out and not work hard. The hours are fair and you can arrive and leave pretty much when you want. Even more-so if you are a manager it seems. The company is still hiring which could be viewed as a positive to some. If you aspire to run for senate or governor you could learn a lot here with such a rich set of politics. Most people do not roll in until after 9 and after 6 its a ghost town so if you want fair hours it is very good as well. You do not have to innovate or push the envelope here so if you want to relax and coast you will like it. Clem is a great new President. Eric was good but quiet. Clem really is energetic.

    Cons

    Innovation. There is not much. 4 or 5 years back there was a lot more and then innovation stopped. Working on a new 'agile' project has introduced more procedure then the already over whelming amount of procedure. The economy is down yet we are still hiring even though half the employees seem to surf the web all day. There is not much innovation. Apparently we have a lab here for innovation and I just found out about it recently. Thus bad communication. They promote 'family' values however working a day a week at home was not allowed for me. However, some managers seem to work at home at-will. What a double standard. They will also make 'rules' for you if you want to work at home. For example if you live say 45 miles away you can work at home. But if you live in daily city and it takes you 1 hour to commute here you can not. There is very little collaboration here. Very waterfall in all aspects and very risk adverse. It seems the less you do the more you get rewarded. If you go the extra mile and screw up a small something you will get scolded instead of a 'good job'. The pay is below industry standard and even in this 'down economy' you could get better pay and probably work at home privileges. Also some depts let people work at home and some do not. What a double standard. If you read all these other people saying things like 'startup' or 'nimble' or 'scrappy' do not even believe it. There is nothing startup here at all. Its one step below a huge corporate machine. GLASS CEILING - Very hard to promote. Unless they create a position for you.

    Advice to Management

    More communication. More flexible work hours, let people work at home if they perform. Put emphasis on what people do and not if there are in the office 9-5. Reward those that work hard, say thanks one a year to somebody. Use this economy to have a RIF and get rid of all the slackers and middle managers. Try to innovate.


  2. Not a bad company, but not no upside

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    a very stable company with strong product team

    Cons

    very few career advance opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    take more risk


  3. Helpful (3)

    Work hard, produce data and do it all yesterday

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Training Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Training Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits package is awesome. They have Health, vision, Dental, pet insurance, wellness benefits, plus travel benefits by being associated to the travel industry. Plus you get insider deals on travel, and most times there will be extras and giveaways at company events like two round trip tickets wherever a supplier partner travels or extra coupons for hotels.

    Cons

    The work ethic is unsustainable. They expect a 60 hour work week from even the indigent, pregnant, or those who are on medical leave. Travel is irregular, but if you do have to travel it has to come out of your pocket, and they are slow to reimburse. The company is not diverse, spouting primarily type A personalities of like kinds only. They struggle from uncharted growth, and are without a strong HR team to manage cultural issues, that pop-up frequently. Executive management is good at keeping everyone informed, but middle management is poor at execution and lacks long term focus.

    Advice to Management

    take a look at your managers to make sure that they know what they need to execute, have the support and the staffing to execute, and most importantly have the know-how and the ability to guide a team towards the same goal... and have the ability to be present to support the successful execution of a project. Lastly, make sure that there is more opportunities for cross-functional team stuff, possibly more Agile project or other Hack-day opportunities to allow for people to work without the rigid project structure. Either that or incorporate IRD development/presentation into the new-hire process so that each person can feel like they are in a position to participate in the outcome of the day to day workings of the company


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A fun place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Marketing Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, 3-4 weeks PTO, travel discounts, fun work culture, casual dress, fitness reimbursement A ton of social events: picnics, bowling, indian independence day...if you can name it, Hotwire is probably already planning a party for it Smart, inspiring coworkers Approachable executive management, who are also smart and inspiring

    Cons

    Long hours and poor employee moral in certain departments Painfully slow process to get anything accomplished Overly strategic, so much time is wasted on endless analysis, projections and planning Lack of innovation and risk taking can be frustrating at times

    Advice to Management

    Promote within, give competitive raises, hire internally, cross-train. Provide career growth opportunities to your existing employees and they will feel less inclined to look elsewhere to grow their careers.


  6. Some departments are better than others.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Free soda generous bonuses fun parties and companywide picnics/outings Tuition reimbursement

    Cons

    I think it's a great place to work as long as you don't work in the department i was in. One member of the senior management team has revealed themselves to be shockingly unprofessional. Oh, it's shocking. I went to a department outing where two of the employees jokingly told everyone they were "loved working together so much" and announced "kiss" at the table. And then they leaned over and airkissed each other. Charming.

    Advice to Management

    Can we please get it together?


  7. Helpful (2)

    Deadheading non-productive employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Lively, there's always something new to learn every day. The senior management really tries to keep the employees happy and they've been doing a great job. In general, people are friendly, helpful and smart.

    Cons

    Some departments are good in keeping only the productive employees. Some other departments are doing very poor job on that aspect, so some people are not taking their jobs seriously, using most of their time at work to do personal stuff, even doing their other/side job.

    Advice to Management

    Remove the dead head and pain point people that have been getting out of control. Just like flowers, this will encourage the company to produce new blooms. There are many people out there that are willing to replace them and can do a better job.


  8. Helpful (2)

    do not rock the boat or you might get wet

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - I Had A Number in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - I Had A Number in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - It is a job - It pays ok - The environment is clean - Most people do not smell - Its in the city - People are in general nice even though they are clique-like - If you have a baby they take good care of you - It is easy to slack and get by in many departments - It is very rare they fire people

    Cons

    This place is the epitome of boring and conservative, almost to the point of being bank like. If you dare do anything that is even remotely boat rocking you will be burned at the rebel. They people that have lasted a long time here really do not rock the boat at all. After a while here I could not take the munde-ness anymore and had to leave dodge. It was mind boggling the number of meetings to discuss doing the smallest task. No dept ever wants to own something. Ten people in a room to discuss something that takes 1 hour to do. And nobody in upper managements has the cajones to do anything about it. 25% of the employees here do probably 90% of the work. So many people sit on their tail and surf the web, talk about cars, computers etc. There are at least 3 people in the office I have witnessed farting in public. The fun days of the in and out trucks and happy hours are gone. Its a 9 -5er for many. Some a 10-4er.

    Advice to Management

    Get your collective heads out of the sand. Actually grow some and fire the dead weight and hire some real cream of the crop. For every 2 slackers you could fire you could hire 1 stellar person at a competitive salary. Hold people accountable for doing bad work instead of promoting them.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Below average in Bay Area standards

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - nice people, nice locations

    Cons

    - compensations are way below the market - they cant attract top talents


  10. Helpful (11)

    Thrill is Gone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Most of the people here are generally friendly and nice. The work environment is casual and releaxed. - Good work/life balance. Good for people who have a family. - The office is nice and you get to work in the city. - Being attached to Expedia, it's a stable place to work and the benefits aren't bad. - A lot of people have left over the past few months. Overall not a good thing, but this also has opened up room for new faces who have the potential to shake things up. - Some recent changes in development structure offer hope to make the company faster and more iterative, though excessive process seems to be weighing it down already. - The smaller, more independent team taking the company international may be a future bright spot. Recently moved to Geneva, it is somewhat insulated from the larger company's problems. - The culture is very non-confrontational and passive. If you're assertive, take control, and aren't afraid to step on a few toes, you can get a lot done and have a disproportionate influence on outcomes.

    Cons

    - The general sense you get when talking to long-time employees is that the company is falling apart. A declining culture is a big part of this. When I started, I remember a certain sense of comradery and esprit de corps that has since faded away. There just isn't a lot of passion anymore. The company holds a lot of cute parties and events now, but these are a poor substitute for a genuinely good culture and strong sense of purpose. - The company moves incredibly slowly for its size and doesn't do anything particularly interesting or innovative. - The company's relationship with Expedia compels it to be very short term oriented and risk averse. - It is not a particularly product- or customer-driven company. There are product- and customer-driven people who work here, but in the end they are not in control. The quick money always seems to take priority over the customer experience. - Most good people either leave after 1-2 years or become extremely cynical and jaded. Mediocre people can stick around forever, ruining morale and forcing others to pick up the slack. It's a vicious cycle that breeds risk aversion and dysfunction. - There is too much groupthink and magical thinking, especially in middle management. Things that seem absurd to anyone with some product sense move forward and waste everyone's time. There are projects in the pipeline right now that I (and anyone who has basic knowledge of Hotwire's customers) know will either have zero impact or lose the company money. Speaking up accomplishes nothing - you are summarily shut down. - To follow the last point, there is little accountability or learning when something fails. And so the company is doomed to repeat its mistakes over and over again. - Very boring, it can be like career purgatory - you can waste away many dull years here with little to show for them. This is why promising young people, who should be the future leaders of the company, end up leaving. - The Product and Marketing teams are dysfunctional train wrecks.

    Advice to Management

    - HIre passionate people who really care about travel, making customers happy, and building good products. Pay up for them if you have to. Hire less former consultant-types who would be just as happy working for any other random company and just want a nice title to put on their resume. - Spin out Travel Ticker into an entirely separate organization. It makes very little sense for it to be in the same entity as Hotwire, and both sites would be more successful on their own. The way it competes for resources and appears to get preferential treatment only breeds contempt among Hotwire people, most of whom think it is a dumb product anyway. - Think harder about the projects you move forward. There may be large dollar signs attached (which often doesn't pan out anyway), but will employees find it interesting, compelling, and something they can be proud of? - Make innovation a company-wide imperative, not something that is just relegated to a few people. And by "innovation" I don't mean finding another spot to cram a checkbox or media placement. - Fire more people. Good people and bad/mediocre people simply cannot coexist. If you don't push the bad ones out, the good ones will leave on their own accord. Just look at what has happened over the past 6-8 months. - Provide a clear vision that inspires employees, not some generic BS we came up with to fit all the random things the company happens to be doing now. And stick to it.


  11. Helpful (2)

    A safe company, not young or innovative

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hotwire full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great building and location, good compensation, work/life balance, travel discounts. Recently transitioned from Waterfall to Agile software development which is much more transferable to other tech companies.

    Cons

    Employees are low energy and generally seem stuck in a rut. Hotwire sells a fun, smart culture, but many who progress through the ranks to management and senior management or are awarded recognition as representing Hotwire's core values do the bare minimum amount of work and rarely attend company events. Hotwire is a steady stream of income for its parent company (Expedia) and goals, products, and initiatives play it safe to keep the revenue coming in.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the amount of middle management, encourage education and skills development.



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