Rackspace

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  www.rackspace.com

Rackspace Reviews

Updated November 11, 2014
Updated November 11, 2014
496 Reviews
3.6
496 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Graham Weston
82 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Culture is amazing and I've never had more a better work/life balance (in 25 reviews)

  • Great culture and endless opportunities (if you earn them) (in 31 reviews)


Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments (in 33 reviews)

  • Sometimes the work life balance can be difficult (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

58 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    gone down hill from what it use to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You will make a lot of great friends and learn a lot.

    Cons

    office politics are too strong here. You will get turned down for transfers after interviewing because it is not what you know, but who you know. Many techs are leaving due to mismanagement and low industry pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Act like we were before we went public. Be a leader, not a manager. Stand up for your employeers instead of just saying yes to your superiors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 14 people found this helpful  

    Failing due to middle management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX

    I worked at Rackspace (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The culture still tries hard to remain despite the struggles.

    Cons

    Middle management is corrupted. Unless you are part of the cool kids, you will never advance no matter how qualified you are. Current middle management has no concern for the company, only their status and their priority is keeping their positions no matter the cost. Too many long timers leaving because of this - and it's not a healthy place to work anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Executive leadership needs to open their eyes and listen to the employees who are fighting daily to keep the company together.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 11 people found this helpful  

    Was A Great Place To Work... Was

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rackspace

    Pros

    RS is very good to their employees on the surface. There are many perks, everyone is stoked to go to work, and it seems as though you're going to have a ton of fun on the job. In many areas of the company this is completely true and RS provides. They provide a very fun, relaxed environment that allows you to thrive if you're a self starter.

    Cons

    Management is becoming less and less "Rackspace." Over the last couple years the management team has become full of managers operating under the theory X style of management. They have driven many, many long term Rackers out, including the CEO. If management doesn't look to those leaders who have been around since the early days (those that are left) they're going to drive them away. I went from a die hard Racker to someone who was completely heart broken when I saw this decline... It is as if they don't ever know what the CORE values are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean house and start over.

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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    Beware the dark side

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Decline to State in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Decline to State in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun atmosphere, constant change, lots of challenging work, and significant opportunity for advancement if you play the social and political game correctly.

    Cons

    There is a very dark underbelly to the company's constant focus on its core values. In most cases, people really live these values but they are very frequently used as a weapon to ostracize people who challenge too much or who are disliked by the powerful social cliques that run the place. Rackspace claims to be a pure meritocracy but it is a great deal more like high school. If you can be one of the popular kids and are good at what you do, you can grow an amazing career at Rackspace. On the other hand, if you are great at what you do but you are threatening to any of the in-groups, you're going to suffer intensely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You REALLY need to get G&A under control and it's going to take cuts to headcount to do it. There are long-time Rackers who have risen far past their highest point of competence and you need to stop treating tenure as though it is the equal of merit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    So much promise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Administrator in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    "Culture" though not nearly what it once was, is still a standout.

    Cons

    Largely incompetent middle management. Senior management seems out-of-touch with reality. Front-lines are woefully understaffed and overworked. "Fanatical Support" has become mostly marketing B.S.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All-too-frequent changes in product and company focus suggest that you don't have a clear vision. Get your fundamentals in order: the billing system is a disaster and after all this time you still don't have a functional replacement. Put an immediate stop to implementing untested system changes in Production, and hold development teams accountable for their shoddy work. Pay attention to the negative customer comments in NPS and actually do something about them instead of just cherry picking positive customer comments to make yourselves feel better.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 11 people found this helpful  

    Top Heavy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trainer in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Trainer in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    You might land with a good Manager and get good training and growth opportunities. There are also a lot of great and interesting people, so it is easy to create new friendships with coworkers. There also are several fun activities you can participate, and the working space is very dynamic and fun.

    Cons

    It is very political, good ol' boy network with lots of socially immature people. Salaries are low, unless you belong to the select few (who most likely happen to be Caucasian) It is very hard for minority women and immigrants to excel. There is a lot of favoritism and nepotism across the board, whole families working there, many married couples. Executives are greedy and take great salaries and compensate those who support their agendas with promotions. They want workers to forget about all the unfairness by giving them free soda and caffeinated drinks, bringing food trucks and having a slide instead of a stairwell. The all positive reviews are from people who either worked in a simple job (not a career) before Rackspace, and from those who have 3 or less years in the company and think they will be successful in a matter of time. If you have been there for a while and speak up these concerns, you will be labeled as a "non-Racker", who does not fit the culture anymore.
    Decision-makers are stingy with internal tools, and purchase cheap or old licenses, forcing employees to do a lot of manual work creating a lot of human error, lack of consistency, inability to pull trustworthy metrics, and frustration.
    Many employees are unable to attend training, even though it is available internally, due to never ending customer emergencies. Many entry level workers (several of them minorities) never get to learn and grow their careers, feel stuck and blame it on themselves, seeing only the isolated incidents and not noticing it is company wide and systemic. Hence the constant internal movement of managers and so called "leaders" whom, after failing in one area, are moved to a different area, transferring and expanding their cliques.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Admit when you see Rackers who are not cut out or ready for management and leadership roles and get them out of those positions. Stop promoting and favoring people who look, think and speak like you. Have consistency, allow for things to mature. Pick fewer projects and do them well. Invest in great tools even if they are expensive. Stop the luscious salaries,trips and perks to a select few. And bring women to leadership, make them feel like staying.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Enterprise BDC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - BDC in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - BDC in Austin, TX

    I worked at Rackspace full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun place to work with a lot of great people. You can wear what you want and they have food vendors on sight so you don't have to leave work to grab lunch. They also have a gym on site with boot camps and other things available that you can do during lunch. These are things that make a strong culture and they try to make sure you are comfortable.

    Cons

    Company has lost sight of what they are in business for and have positioned themselves to compete with Amazon on a commodity product. This is a dangerous place since the majority of revenue comes from services and dedicated hosting. The push is to great to be in the cloud.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your lower management, I think this is overlooked and mid and lower management is filled with warm bodies not necessarily someone who has been trained to be in position.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Heading Down A Bad Path

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fellow Rackers. For the most part, I've gotten along quite nicely with coworkers and they treat each other pretty well.
    Benefits are relatively good. 401k match. San Antonio's HQ is sprawling but has some good comforts like food trucks, massage chairs, etc..
    Lots of other opportunities within the company.

    Cons

    Management. Not sure where to even start.

    - Senior Management is addicted to reorganization. Any given organization in the company will be reorganized in 2 years or less, meaning that there are typically multiple simultaneous reorganizations happening at once. No real explanation of why its happening, and they never result in improved efficiency. Of course, during the constant reorganizations, confusion abounds for all other teams in the organization.

    - For years, Rackers have complained about products getting rolled out without prior training for the support floor. While espousing "Rackers" are the product, those very Rackers that are to be marketed as well-trained specialists are in fact poorly trained, and have to compete with their peers for access to training that is offered. While Rackspace has exploded in size, the quantity of useful training has stayed level, or has even been reduced. Product teams have little to no contact with the Support floor which is tasked with assisting customers with those very products. I've been told to "just figure it out".

    - Mid-level management is massive. As others have pointed out, for every 2-3 non-manager Rackers, there is 1 manager. This level of management does not seem to be empowered to cause change or improvements. They do, however act as a buffer so that upper-management does not have to deal with the outcomes of their poor decisions that support-rackers deal with on a daily basis.

    - As if out of a scene from Office Space, manager changes for some teams occur almost monthly with no expectation that any will stick around, making it confusing who to even report to. Each time, a new direction, a new style of management, new requirements, new demands passed through from upper management, and no one in upper management thinks that is a problem. Worse yet, it seems that some managers for front-line support are straight from business school and have little technical understanding of what their subordinates are tasked with doing. "I have faith you'll figure it out" is not a management technique. It's neglect.

    - Ironically, while management remains 100% staffed in the company, and is allowed to move around quite freely, the support rackers who *ARE* the "Managed" Support that customers interact with daily (the "product" that we're actually selling), are woefully understaffed and underpaid. Employee churn has rapidly increased. As the support ranks get depleted, upper-management has refused to hire replacements for fear of harming quarterly results. Experienced employees are heading to greener pastures with proper leadership and support. While managers move between teams fluidly, non-management rackers must wait 6+ months to move to a new team. So while there are opportunities to move, good luck making it happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop blaming plummeting Racker morale on the stock price.
    Stop blaming mid-level managers for not meeting expectations even though you prevent them from hiring new staff to backfill churned employees.
    Stop blaming Rackers for not buying in to the latest-and-greatest 6-month plan when you yourselves have no confidence in executing it.
    Stop selling products that the support floor hasn't ever been trained to assist customers with (or better yet, get the product teams to work WITH support for once).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    A company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Engineer
    Current Employee - Linux Systems Engineer

    I have been working at Rackspace full-time

    Pros

    Many rackers are great people to be around and i've learned a lot from the people i've interacted with.

    Cons

    Rackspace is a company that has gone from great to just barely average in a short span of six months. While the company is resilient, it has lost its relevance and has not taken the necessary steps to change course. It is rapidly losing its culture and outsiders who have been put in control are acting with reckless abandon in a way that threatens to put the company in a death spiral. There is frequently a new flavor of the month, which now focuses on DevOps and ObjectRocket. Unqualified, ineffective, and toxic leaders are often put in charge of these new flavors of the month. Some of these teams are even rewarded with swanky offices, while others have to work in the ghetto. Ironically, those left in the ghetto are responsible for most of the revenue. It’s disappointing, unnerving, and shows a lack of authentic leadership and value of Rackspace culture. Senior talent is leaving at an alarming rate and "leadership" believes that ignoring the problems will make them go away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make changes before it's too late.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    A frontline support Racker's Story

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator III in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator III in Austin, TX

    I worked at Rackspace full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to start if you have little experience with the system you support (Networking, Windows, Linux). You will be thrown to the wolves and presented with problems you never imagined but there will be people to help you along the way, so you'll learn a lot. This sets you up for a better job down the line, but more than likely this will be outside of the company. Being thrown to the wolves stresses a lot of people out so you need to handle that.

    Most of the frontline Rackers are amazing people. It's trench warfare with very demanding customers on one side (they're paying a lot more for hosting with Rackspace than they are with a competitor so they deserve to be demanding) and management with high expectations on the other side. Due to this, you form a bond and you can all go out for drinks after work to blow off steam.

    Cons

    Your experience will be largely dependent on which direct manager you get. Some are great who will really go up to bat for you and do everything they can to make your time at Rackspace enjoyable and some managers are just atrocious and will make your life miserable. The atrocious ones are never dealt with, so if you get stuck with one then that's it for you. I was lucky to have a good manager but I have heard the horror stories of atrocious managers and they are really bad.

    You are given a performance review twice per year, but you will not get a raise even with consistent exceptional reviews. You maybe given some stock options that take 5 years to fully vest, but with the terrible performance of the stock price they're not even worth much. When offered a salary they talk about the 10% bonus rate to make the salary look better but in my experience I never hit 10% (averaged around 7%). Negotiate the salary you want from day one, because there's no raising it and the bonus is not guaranteed. They pay below market rate and they used to be able to use the culture as an excuse but the culture is gone. If you're going to work at a traditional corporate job you might as well get paid for it, that's why I left.

    It's a call center job, and there is no getting around that. It'll be presented as "not a typical" call center job but in reality it is. You log into your phone at the beginning of your shift, you have a scheduled lunch, and you log off your phone 30 minutes before your shift ends. You will get a steady stream of calls through out the day with really not a lot of time between (and often back to back calls). You'll get yelled at, cussed at, and abused since it's a customer service job. To be fair Rackspace will "fire" customers who do this often or at an extreme level, but you still deal with a lot of terrible customers. If you do have time between calls you are expected to work tickets. Your manager will judge you on your typical call center metrics (how many calls you take, how many tickets you closed, etc).

    If you're into heavy drug use, or tatted up beyond the ability to work in a more traditional office you'll be welcome as a frontline Racker but you will never move up from this position. All middle level management and higher are professional khaki wearing MBAs. You might (and that's a very big might) be able to get into a "team lead" role where you directly manage frontline Rackers but that will be your ceiling unless you present yourself as a traditional corporate drone who only wears jeans on Fridays.

    Since staffing runs so low they only let X number of people off per day, so if you want a Friday off for a three day weekend you have to plan months in advance. You'll be required to rotate holidays and you'll probably be required to rotate weekends as well.

    Front line Rackers are very understaffed in all departments. The extra staff never comes to the frontline, however there always seems to be a new manager, special "project" role, or VP spot that they magically can afford to fill. Every weekly team meeting will just be you blowing off steam. After a while of being told "it gets better" it never will so you eventually either turn off the care switch and become apathetic or just leave the company. Anybody with a 5 year flag will tell you "Rackspace used to be awesome but it sucks now".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your staff instead of Wall Street investors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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