Hotwire

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Hotwire Reviews

Updated Jul 2, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 101 reviews

40% Approve of the CEO

Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg

Henrik Kjellberg

(20 ratings)

70% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company respects work-life balance, while still offering challenging opportunities(in 28 reviews)

  • Exciting industry (travel) discounts on travel products(in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance are non-existent depending on the group(in 4 reviews)

  • If you're looking for career growth, you need to make sure you are on your manager's radar at all times(in 5 reviews)

101 Employee Reviews
in
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Hotwire is not a place for you if you have a pulse. Cooperate passive aggressive culture. They just want yes men.

    Project Manager (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Prosgreat travel perks. Great SF financial district location

    ConsCooperate passive aggressive culture. Agile but still very command and control with a lot of useless meetings.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire your middle managers and make them apply for their jobs again. Being able to schedule meetings is not a skill.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good Place to work

    Engineer (Current Employee)

    Proschallenging environment
    good compensation
    work-home balance
    good projects

    Consno proper career training and mentorship though management keeps saying big words about individual training

    Advice to Senior Managementyou guys are doing a good job!!Keep UP

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Hotwire is a great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

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

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

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat place to work. Great environment with a tremendous work/life balance. Management listens to feedback and everyone wants to succeed.

    ConsOther then compensation, not really any cons. Great place to learn in an exciting environment, lots of people have left and been very successful with startups, so obviously they are doing well at attracting talent.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    boring and bland but with dangling carrot

    I Tick and I Travel Over the Hotwire (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Prosgreat 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.

    Conslot 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 Senior Managementfire 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Poor management.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGreat location. Many fun company events.

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementWeed out the incompetent managers without regard for seniority.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    11 people found this helpful  

    Thrill is Gone

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    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 Senior 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Used to be less political, good work/life balance

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat people, with some major exceptions. Most are easy to work with, but some are really pushy with their agendas. Everyone else just has to suck it up for those few people.

    Great work/life balance, to the point that some people don't even work a normal 8 hour day. Good job if you don't need to innovate or work long hours.

    ConsGetting promoted has more to do with timing and luck more than actual merit. You have to be in the right place at the right time and not get on the bad side of any of the people on the "committee" that decides if you're allowed a promotion. Some people get promoted after a year; some take several years. Close to impossible to get promoted if you're not in the clique of favorites. Used to a be a more easygoing, fun environment, but now it's all about politics.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't let a few pushy people make all the decisions and always get their way because they're "difficult." Get rid of the slackers because it damages the morale for the people who actually do a good job and work hard.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    dull.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosnice location if you like the city.
    non confrontational environment.
    family friendly if you want to have kids
    clean office.

    Consso boring
    very tedious
    very process oriented,
    stifling environment, a "just do as your told" type attitude
    rigid inflexible managers.

    Advice to Senior Managementallow more innovation and new ideas. Don't be so rigid with respect to process. And you are in an industry that is becoming more commoditized.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Below average in Bay Area standards

    Senior Analyst (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros- nice people, nice locations

    Cons- compensations are way below the market
    - they cant attract top talents

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