How We’re Knocking Down Silos at Rackspace  

I’ve spent most of my career in tech — Hewlett Packard, HPE, Dell, DXC — and for much of that time, I’ve been aware of Rackspace’s famed culture: the all-hands-on-deck customer service, the deeply embedded service ethos, the servant leadership.

So it’s been one of the highlights of my career to be asked to lead this incredible company, and in my first few weeks on the job, my admiration for Rackspace’s culture has only grown. Already I’ve had the opportunity to take part in a team building exercise (that involved a dunk tank!), chat with Rackers one on one and attend Rookie-O, the most unique orientation I’ve ever encountered.

And yet Rackspace, like every other organization I’ve been a part of, is not immune to the challenge of silos — when departments or teams within an organization aren’t communicating effectively with each other. Rackspace is in a phase of rapid growth, quickly evolving the services we offer to stay ahead of the needs of our customers — and while that growth and evolution is exciting, it also brings challenges.

One of my goals is to help accelerate that growth while also ensuring that we work transparently and get to decision making faster. Here’s how we’re doing it and what it means for our customers.

People are literally everything

At Rackspace, we’re proponents of a boundaryless mindset. To help break down (or better yet, prevent) silos, every single Racker must be engaged with our company strategies and priorities. To do that, we encourage collaboration and a bias for action. A few ways we do this:

  • Global Open Books: In these meetings, Rackers get an honest look at how the company is performing, to better align on the progress of our organizational strategy and priorities.
  • Racker Chats and Coffee Talks: These smaller and more informal gatherings, made of a cross section of employees and leaders, offer a more intimate platform for anyone to ask whatever’s on their mind.
  • InsideRack: Our company intranet portal allows us to share company news, accolades and Racker profiles. Everyone within the company has the opportunity to share on InsideRack and provide ideas and comments on my weekly blog.

When clear, honest communication is standard, workers put greater trust in their executive team. The avenues above, as well as our other internal and external platforms, all play a part in our success. 

Committed to our customers

At the end of the day, our business is driven by our customers’ satisfaction — and that comes from Rackers leaning in and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. And that happens when Rackers feel like, in the words of Rackspace co-founder and former CEO Graham Weston, that they’re “valued members of a winning team on an inspiring mission.”

Rackspace’s vision is clear: we’re here to make customers great. Rackers know what we’re working towards, and that we’re unique in what we offer; our portfolio lets us craft the perfect, unbiased solutions for our customers and their business objectives.

Removing silos doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a full team effort and a clear, long-term strategy. And with such a strong company culture here at Rackspace, I’m confident we can accomplish anything.


Learn more about how Rackspace accelerates the value of cloud.

Kevin Jones is the Chief Executive Officer at Rackspace, the industry leader in managed services across applications, data, security and infrastructure on the world’s leading cloud platforms. With over six thousand employees worldwide, Rackspace serves customers in more than 150 countries and generates $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Kevin is an accomplished business leader with 30 years of technology services experience and has an impeccable record in leading business transformations. Prior to joining Rackspace in April 2019, Kevin was the Chief Executive Officer of MV Transportation, the largest privately-owned transportation contracting firm in the United States. MV generates $1.5 billion in annual revenue with more than 20,000 employees. Kevin has held global leadership roles at Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Hewlett- Packard, Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and most recently, DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC), a $25 billion publicly traded IT services company where Jones served as senior vice president and general manager of the Americas region with 66,000 employees and $10 billion in annual revenue. At DXC and HPE, Kevin transformed the Americas into both companies’ most profitable region. Before joining DXC and HPE, Kevin served as chief customer and sales officer for Dell Services, where he led all go-to-market functions for applications, business process outsourcing, infrastructure services and cloud computing businesses. In his three years at Dell, Kevin grew revenue by 11 percent, increased profitability by 12 percent and raised Dell’s customer satisfaction score from 0 to 51. Kevin spent 21 years in executive positions at Hewlett Packard and Electronic Data Systems (EDS), in both Europe and Asia. As Senior Vice President of Enterprise Services, Asia Pacific and Japan, he increased profitability by 25 percent. At EDS, as vice president, UK Government, his team saved the relationship with the company’s most profitable customer and signed $4.5 billion in new business. Kevin is married and has two teenage sons. He holds a BBA from James Madison University and is a Certified Management Accountant. Kevin also serves as a board member for Rackspace, the North Texas Food Bank and the World Affairs Council of Dallas.

1 COMMENT

  1. Kevin, could I offer you my recent book, Overcoming Organizational Myopia: Breaking Through Siloed Organizations, and maybe an hour of my time to sit down and discuss silos versus myopia?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here