Hotwire

www.hotwire.com
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Great people to work with but poor leadership

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

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

Pros

All the people I worked with were outstanding, but lack of leadership led to the company's downfall and layoffs last Fall. I wasn't part of the layoffs but after so many people left I decided to leave to for a better opportunity. 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!

Cons

True creativity and innovation is not valued. It's an extremely analytical company to the point that those that rely on intuition are not valued. Everything has a cost and number which is fine, but not when it comes at the price of not understanding what customers actually want. Everyone gets lost pinching pennies and then doesn't understand what they can't see the forest for the trees. There's no investment in what will actually make customers happy.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Give people more creative freedom to solve problems and invest in long-term solutions.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Approves of CEO

128 Other Employee Reviews for Hotwire (View Most Recent)

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  1. 9 people found this helpful  

    Trying for a fresh start but keeps revisiting the plan to do so

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

    I worked at Hotwire full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Solid set of long-term back-end engineers who are holding down the fort but constrained by limited resources and an aging product on the front-end.

    Renewed focus on analytics could bear fruit.

    Finally realizing that the "we've always done it this way" approach doesn't work anymore in some areas and starting to try new things like off-loading certain functions to Expedia.

    Cons

    HR seems to think company culture and employee motivation is developed from throwing in a few free lunches and having long company meetings. They keep your bonus and pay limited as an existing employee as it is has dependencies both on overall division (Hotwire) and also company (Expedia) performance so you take a hit if either doesn't meet plan even though though the CEO of Expedia always talks of "throwing off cash". They have an unnecessarily long delay of 4 months in-between the time you complete your yearly review with your manager to when bonus payouts and yearly increases hit. Managers don't even read the reviews anyway and even though they claimed to drop the calibration / sliding scale system it not so secretly still exists, you just aren't told your score.

    New president came in and followed his formulaic approach used at another division of lay-offs followed by bringing in his friends from other parts of the company. There was definitely some change needed in the old guard at the Exec level who blindly let the competition eat their lunch but the lay-offs at lower levels were nonstrategic and left certain parts of the org decimated and without needed resources.

    So far in 2014 strategies have shifted multiple times and overall they are on the hook for delivering more than the org can reasonably accomplish. Some of the newly established org goals are idealistic though clearly unobtainable - they missed the "R" in SMART goals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think more long term and don't make short term decisions that will bite you later. Example: Laying off software engineers (in San Francisco!?!) when you are still very profitable but not meeting the company plan just to find yourself needing more engineers a few months later to sustain the business. Now it's tough to hire them as everyone knows you lay-off people, hmmm.

    Set a few realistic goals and priorities that everyone can get behind and stick with them.

    Simplify your strategy to a few succinct goals that people can remember and start executing and deliver it before changing it again before it even gets out of the gate.

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

    Fantastic company & extraordinary workforce

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    This is hands down the best job I have ever had and the best company I have ever worked for in my career! Some of the perks may be typical for San Francisco but Hotwire has a unique advantage since it is a fairly small company with a big corporate backing (Expedia Inc). This provides a more intimate working environment where you are able to wear many different hats and get to know most of your coworkers while maintaining job security. The added bonus is that you receive excellent benefits, especially if you love to travel!

    There is always something fun happening in the office, whether it's a group gathering to watch the Word Cup, a serious game of ping pong or a full blown Cinco de Mayo party. There are also several annual events such as the bowling tournament and summer picnic. These are all great opportunities to get to know your coworkers on a more personal level while having a blast!

    The best part of Hotwire is the individuals that make up each of the teams. It's a very inviting atmosphere which fosters creativity and is not overly competitive. There is a willingness to share knowledge for the common good of the company and senior management is very approachable. The workforce is also very diverse with employees and executives from all over the world with a great deal of longevity which offers various perspectives.

    Cons

    Travel is a very competitive industry and you must be willing to work hard as well as be open to an ever changing environment. Hotwire is currently making significant investments in its infrastructure, which can be challenging at times to different teams. Overall the pros outweigh the cons!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to be clear about the company's direction and our plan to stay competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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