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2 people found this helpful  

Hotwire is a great place to work

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

I have been working at Hotwire

Pros

I really like the atmosphere in Hotwire - friendly team, collaborative, and goals oriented. Professional management and engineering teams. Interesting tasks!

Cons

I don't see many Cons at Hotwire. It may look a bit conservative, but still ok in terms of career development.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

I like the way you manage transformation at Hotwire. Moving to Agile is a big and right step for the entire company.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for Hotwire

  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Thrill is Gone

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

    I have been working at Hotwire

    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 ManagementAdvice

    - 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.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    boring and bland but with dangling carrot

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - I Tick and I Travel Over the Hotwire  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - I Tick and I Travel Over the Hotwire in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Hotwire

    Pros

    great place to have a child, very fair. great place if you really want to disappear so to speak. i.e. get little done and just coast. a ton of people have left so a lot of openings are there for people to rise into to. lax hours. some people come at 11 and leave at 4, even a the high up. great stock grants and options over there years to keep you chugging along. very generous bonus which keeps us around! clem (president) is really a great guy who i think is trying to handle things the best he can.

    Cons

    lot of management heaped on top of more management. it seems like there is a 1-4 or 1-3 ratio of managers to contributors in some departments. so that is a super big pain in getting anything done. way too much process. they tried agile and that did not work with those involved. so now they have a new thing called queues which is like mini waterfalls but is turning out to be just as slow and painful. but with just less people in each one. a lot of deadweight even at the high high up. they really can take any fun out of anything while getting big big salaries. a lot of people have been leaving as well which is really sad and ironically its a lot of smart people who are going. so the weak ones stay. ugh.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    fire all those slackers. get rid of all the managers. flatten the org. get rid of that horrific waterfall structure. merge product and fd together and make people accountable. reward those that work. not those who kiss ass.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
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