Rackspace

  www.rackspace.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Rackspace Reviews

Updated July 29, 2014
Updated July 29, 2014
477 Reviews

3.6
477 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Graham Weston
60 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 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Middle management is the worst I've seen in my career in most departments (in 30 reviews)

  • Work life balance can be a challenge - not nearly as bad as Amazon (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

86 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Best place I've ever worked, but is slowly turning into just another corporate husk.

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

    Pros

    Rackspace is by far the best company I've ever worked for and has literally changed my life for the better, both physically in improved health and well-being, but also emotionally because it provided me an environment where I felt like I belonged. It's truly the first job I've had where I've been able to experience the positive impact I'm making on others in a real way while also at the same time getting to touch technology that's so new it won't even necessarily "hit shelves" until over a year later.

    You will meet many smart, talented, passionate people at this company and they will help take you on a mental journey you never thought was possible. Many of them will end up being your new best friends. When you mix together the energy and talent with the technology resources available you end up being involved in some amazing projects that really put you on the bleeding edge of what's possible. You'll always be learning something new and being exposed to new ideas. Put this all together with a culture that embodies responsibility, honesty, transparency, and getting the job done and you end up in extremely effective teams that thrive on honest feedback and doing the best they can do.

    Cons

    I would say the two biggest downsides of Rackspace are:

    1) The upsides are shrinking. As the company has grown the beautiful and unique culture that makes Rackspace so great has diminished considerably. This is largely due to poor hiring choices in leadership which has been extremely impactful in a negative way on the company even after some of these poor choices are dealt with my letting those leaders go.

    In some particular groups leaders that were fired over 3 years ago still have a lasting negative impact on how things are done because new leaders brought into to replace them did not effectively identify the things which their predecessor did wrong and fix all of them. In many ways this is a failure of middle management that's caused because of the tendency for new leaders to bring in a cadre of cronies that follow them from whatever corporate husk they left, and if the leader gets fired, the cronies stay making it that much more difficult for a new leader to effectively resolve the things that didn't work.

    2) The general level of compensation is well below market rate for a technology firm. It's pretty much always been this way, but most Rackers were okay with this in return for getting to be involved in such a wonderful culture and company and getting relatively unrestricted access to company resources to engage their minds on whatever it was at the moment they wanted to learn about. As the company has grown though the culture has dwindled and with it more restrictive policies have been created which prevent employees from being fully mentally engaged in the curiosities that drive them. It's led to a situation where many of the bright talented people I interact with come to work every day not sure exactly what they should even be doing because they don't solve problems by mandate, they solve problems by discovery.

    A company where it was once acceptable to have beer during meetings as long as you weren't drunk at you desk and where every employee had significant access to technology resources to try new things just to see if they'll work is what lead to the creation of many of the innovative technical concepts and methods of achieving them that exist today. Instead we've replaced that with company policies that won't even let me stream a documentary from Netflix on a separate monitor while I'm pulling an overnight shift in operations effectively monitoring systems which are highly automated in case an immediate response is necessary.

    This lack of compensation and this failure of culture has lead to a massive brain drain as the vast majority of long-time old school Rackers are bailing on the company. Anyone who is a strong technical talent is in high demand in the market, especially the likes of those who helped drive the beginnings of Cloud computing. Failure to compensate these people properly while demanding that they comply to asinine policies is a guaranteed way to lose them and with it lose the company's ability to execute effectively.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the red pill and wake up to reality. Middle management is lying to you constantly and you believe it, and you're being dragged into so many meetings you no longer have time to effectively talk to people on the floor to understand what's really going on. You need to fix this and the only way to do that is go back to our core values and our basics, which is communicate honestly and talk to the folks on the floor as your peers.

    If you take action at all, do the following, do it soon, and do it right:

    1) Fix the compensation issue. Yes, it'll increase payroll expense which will result in a net increase in opex. But, it can be offset by the other thing you should be doing.

    2) Clean house. And when I say this, I'm not talking about the guys on the floor, I'm talking about the bloat of middle management and sort-of upper management (Director and below) that's lead to constantly reducing productivity and our general too many chiefs not enough indians problem. Some things /need/ management, a lot of things need less management, and sometimes things just need the right management. At the end of the day though, management, middle management especially, is what's killing this company. Not the techs on the floor, and not even necessarily the people near the top.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going, going.....gon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • 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

    Pros

    There are some very sincere, hard-working, smart people there. CEO & President are 'good people'.

    Cons

    Focus changes quarterly.
    No vision > strategy? > competing tactics > confused employees > frustrated/fleeing customers > fading stock.
    Core values preached but no longer practiced.
    Broken continuity as people transfer every 6 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior managers hiring their unqualified buddies and then allowing them to get away with nearly anything has to stop.
    Entitlement and threatening has to end. Respect needs to be constantly earned.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Company in Transition

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

    Pros

    The people are generally great to work with. The office is comfortable. The benefits are also very nice. There are lots of opportunities to learn new technology.

    Cons

    The tools we need to use are broken half the time. Processes for advancement are not consistent and in some areas come down to very nit picky hoops that you have to jump through, some of them based on your personal brand and how you have sold it to the rest of your department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Determine what advancement means in any given team and tailor the advancement process to match your expectations of the new position. Tools need to be consistently functioning and not rely on third party (employee written) hacks to extend them for needed functionality.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    A shell of it's former self, trying to find purpose and meaning

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

    Pros

    Everyone tries really hard to keep a fun environment and put people first. Family friendly atmosphere meets a laid back vibe with a "get things done" disposition.

    Cons

    Sometimes Rackspace carries a strange, almost inauthentic paternal atmosphere. Leaders seem to burn a lot of energy setting up activities and conducting town halls that are designed to represent how much they care about Rackers...when all in all, most of the mid level leaders and below are actually self serving borderline psychopaths.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just Quit. If what you read didn't make you question yourself or annoyed, maybe you're one of the 15% of managers that actually adds value.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Fanatically unstable

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

    Pros

    10% quarterly bonus (if your lucky)
    Flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Hard to work your way up unless you are in certain 'cliques'
    bonuses are there but they are unreliable
    Pay is low for market and keeps getting lower the longer you stay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    after hours should never be an after thought, and pay should be brought up to market, not "target", for everyone atleast every few years, for those who even stay that long if for no other reason than to show appreciation of the job they are doing(but all this is a pipe dream). Transparency and full disclosure shouldn't be to just are customers but to everyone

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Place To Learn

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

    Pros

    Work environment is entertaining and certainly vibrant.

    Cons

    Entire company is full of cliques.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lack of direction

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

    Pros

    Great people! Servant hearts.

    Cons

    No consistent direction, strategy and messaging changes every 6 weeks. Clash between legacy Rackers and new talent they are bringing in. New leaders over-simplify the problems and spend a lot of time on obvious problems that can't be fixed with existing budget and talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Settle down and make a plan.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Lots of flux, lack of direction

    • 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

    Pros

    Awesome talent, great people, great culture. Personality is screened at interview time to make sure candidates will fit in and get along with one another, so with that in mind, you rarely hear of animosity between people or groups. Benefits are above average, though the health provider (Humana) has gaps in what might be covered, that other providers do cover. Good promotion of work/life balance. Most employees buy into the core values/mission (drink the Kool-Aid, as it were).

    Cons

    SLT turnover has been very high the last year. This has brought on a lack of direction from up high, and a lot of changes for many teams, which then snowballs to having some of the better talent leaving as well. It's hard to get a raise, even with regular performance reviews. The most common method of getting a raise is to either change jobs, or get promoted, so this leads to a lot of turnover at the team level. There is a LOT of middle management throughout the company. You tend to see a 'team lead' for about every 6-8 employees on average. We attempt to stay competitive against Amazon and Google pricing, rather than focusing on the core differentiation of support, and the ability to support hybrid stacks (dedicated + cloud), that you can't really get anywhere else (this appears to be changing for the better now). This has led to a massive decline in stock price (as well as the SLT turnover). Career path/growth has always been poorly executed. Some headway has been made, but it's still very poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's still a lot of area where compensation needs fixed, otherwise turnover of key employees will continue to happen, Rackspace has always been slow to react to the market in regards to wages and titles. Focus on what makes Rackspace the best: support and hybrid. Amazon, Google, Microsoft? They're the Hondas, Kias, and Toyotas of the cloud. Rackspace is the Mercedes of the cloud.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sunny with storms in the horizon

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

    Pros

    Relaxed place to work. You have some great people here and at times can be fun.

    Cons

    It's not what you know but whom you know. Favortism runs high here. Weak managers, pay, and lack of training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    “By not treating everyone equally, a manager is fostering a sense of resentment and separation that can de-motivate employees and damage team unity, Also, by focusing attention on particular employees, it’s easy to overlook growth opportunities and unique skill sets offered by others.”

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Future unset

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

    Pros

    Fun culture and great legacy staff

    Cons

    New senior leadership means starting fresh even if you helped build the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider some of the things senior staff did to help the company over the last 5 years before passing judgement on last quarters results. The products and services are dated and outclassed by a more competitive marketplace.

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Rackspace? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.