I’ve been living and working in Texas for most of my career in IT, so I naturally heard about Rackspace not long after it was founded. I watched as it virtually invented the managed hosting business, and as it won acclaim for its special brand of expertise and customer service, known throughout the industry as Fanatical Support.
Several of my sharpest colleagues at EDS were lured away to Rackspace, and had great things to say about the company and its prospects. So when I got a call a few weeks ago, asking if I’d be interested in applying to become the next CEO of Rackspace, I jumped at the chance.
In the course of the interviews, I got to visit the company’s headquarters in San Antonio and experience first-hand the energy of the place, and the workplace culture that enables Fanatical Support. I saw that the Rackspace culture is a unique asset that is delivering record low levels of customer churn and high Net Promoter scores. I learned a lot more about the company’s plans and opportunities. I felt that they fit well with my skill set and experiences. And I’m delighted that the Rackspace board felt the same way.
I can’t wait to get started as CEO of this great company. And I’m pleased that Jeff Cotten has agreed to stay on as president of Rackspace. We’ve got complementary strengths, and I think we’ll make a good team. Jeff told you a bit about my background in his blog post on my hiring, so I won’t repeat that.
Instead, let me emphasize how excited I am by the huge market opportunity that Rackspace has in front of it, as companies move out of their corporate data centers and into multiple clouds. Those companies want to run each of their IT workloads on the platform where it will achieve the best performance and cost-effectiveness, whether that’s on a public cloud like AWS or a single-tenant environment.
Rackspace is uniquely well positioned to take advantage of this trend, as the only provider who can deliver expertise and exceptional customer service for all of the leading public and private clouds, along with managed hosting. Thanks to the new strategy that Rackspace adopted a few years ago, it’s got the early lead in the managed cloud space.
I’ve worked for some of the legacy giants like HP, and they’re too tied to the legacy ways of doing things to lead in this new era. Rackspace, in contrast, is purpose built for it. My goal here is to build on that foundation and make Rackspace the world’s preeminent IT services company.
One big advantage we’ve got is that we just went private back in November, under the ownership of Apollo Global Management and its partners. As a private company, we can move more aggressively and rapidly to allocate resources for long-term growth, to enhance our product offerings, to expand into new geographies and make smart acquisitions.
We’ll have some big news on that last front very soon, so please stay tuned!