There are newer employer reviews for Hotwire
There are newer employer reviews for Hotwire

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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

I have been working at Hotwire

Recommends
Disapproves of CEO
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.

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Poor management.

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

    I worked at Hotwire

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great location. Many fun company events.

    Cons

    Manager was clueless. Every small issue was a major fire. Manager/reports ratio too high.

    Advice to Management

    Weed out the incompetent managers without regard for seniority.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Very satisfactory

    • 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

    I have been working at Hotwire

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great team, great manager and great benefits. Lots of work that challenges an employee. You need to ask for it though.

    Cons

    Some very poor upper management and executives. Poor performers are kept on forever. Promotions are unfairly given or not standard across the company.

    Advice to Management

    Some of the problems start all the way at the top. You need to focus at the main source and not at the bottom rung.


There are newer employer reviews for Hotwire
There are newer employer reviews for Hotwire

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