Hotwire Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
109 Reviews
3.1
109 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg
Henrik Kjellberg
26 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company respects work-life balance, while still offering challenging opportunities (in 30 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)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    it was good

    Former Employee - Database Marketing in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Database Marketing in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    Good place if you have a family: Nice insurance and travel perks

    Cons

    Hotwire.com barely promote people within

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    recognize talent

  2.  

    Not so hot

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

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

    Pros

    Talented good people. Parties. The money they owe you does appear in your bank account.

    Cons

    A place still searching for some identity. No method to the madness. No process. Change of focus daily and a waterfall approach based on the whims of the CEO and stock holders. Daily 3 hour meetings that end with abrupt changes at the last minute. Poor leadership where everyone gets a say(no leadership) and there are no real timelines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a direction and stick to it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Changing environment, good culture, positive outlook

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    New execs have made the company a more forward-thinking, smart place to work. Smart in the sense that employees are beginning to look at the product critically and holistically.

    Cons

    Some individuals are territorial over their work and lack the skill to manage their time effectively.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    nice place to work

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

    I have been working at Hotwire

    Pros

    You get to explore lot of technologies.. Work and play!

    Cons

    nothing really.. this is an awesome place to work hands down!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay focused and don't push people a lot..

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Was great, now not so much

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    When I joined Hotwire it was a great place:
    -Great coworkers
    -Relaxed environment
    -Interesting assignments
    -Real passion for the travel industry

    Cons

    When the company started going through tough times, there was a complete leadership and culture change (all for the worse). It became a cut-throat, knee-jerk, top-down mess. Almost everyone fled. It's sadly now a very negative place to work.
    Too boot, the company never paid well, but made up for it (somewhat) with the culture….so clearly now the pay seems even worse

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Outdated without an identity, but positive forward momentum.

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    The work-life balance is impressive considering Hotwire is a digital company and is located in San Francisco. The company is slowly modernizing after several years of a stagnant "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" mentality. Due to both the size of the company and the leadership, your title does not determine whether or not you get to have a voice. There is an opportunity at this point in time to greatly impact the future of this brand.

    Cons

    Because the company is in a position to play catch-up after years without any major change, there are internal growing pains. There is little to no cross-functional alignment (terrotorial silos) and most teams assume their own goals translate to the goals of others. The vocal minority often win during times of conflict. There is very little comaraderie among employees, and it seems as though people's various passions about the company have less to do with the product itself, but with the discounts (which are subpar). While the company frantically tries to scale for change, teams are being fractured across the Seattle and San Francisco offices - further reducing chances of developing a sense of comeraderie. While the work varies in excitement, the environment is dry and humorless. Transparency on mobility, pay scales and career development is opaque at best. Compensation (despite the fact that it is located in the most expensive city in America) is not even close to competitive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on processes to help facilitate the pace at which the brand is changing. Don't downplay the impact of hiring in two places. Focus on improving morale in a meaningful and measurable way...happy employees make a successful company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unfair treatment to employee

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time

    Pros

    It is located in the heart of financial district.

    Cons

    Poor management, no direction.
    Full of unhappy people
    Does not value employee
    Lower than average salary

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Should value more about the people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    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
  10. 12 people found this helpful  

    Worse company to work at

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

    I have been working at Hotwire full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are sub-par. There's really nothing good left to say about this place.

    Cons

    Morale is down due to staff reductions in 2013 & those left all want to leave, moreover no one wants to apply to work here anymore. Salary is low. An positive review written on here are either from HR or management who are trying to entice new candidates to join a sinking ship. Henrik has Napoleon's complex. I'm sure he'll get the boot next. Funny how he came in a laid off half the work force then the remaining half all quit! Because of that, HR has stopped hiring for the SF office and now recruiting for Bellevue where there's less of a turnover. What a shame how fast this company fell.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck trying to re-build.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 7 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

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