Hotwire Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated September 22, 2014
Updated September 22, 2014
108 Reviews
3.1
108 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg
Henrik Kjellberg
25 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

80 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  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.  

    Outdated without an identity, but positive forward momentum.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
  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. 2 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
  6.  

    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
  7. 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
  8. 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 an 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
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    It is a Dream Job!

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

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

    Pros

    The peoples are great to work with! And the events that they have are fun and entertaining! The work environment is great and positive. The location is perfect. Henrik Kjellberg is a great CEO to work for and he has an open door policy! I love that everybody sit in a cube. Even the CEO!

    Cons

    For me there is no cons!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good Job!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company

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

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

    Pros

    Great culture, excellent benefits, great work life balance. The people and teams are great. Awesome location.

    Cons

    Lack of direction, dying brand. There was recently a change in all of the executive team. Not sure yet how they're going to perform.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Many recent changes in leadership and focus for the company have made this a difficult place to work.

    • 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 8 years)

    Pros

    Hotwire has a great product with many years of experience.

    Cons

    Reduction in staff in 2013 was not expected and hard for everyone in the company whether you are still there or not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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