Rackspace Culture Leads to Spot on Forbes’ Best Employer List

Rackspace flags

We’re honored that Forbes has named Rackspace one of America’s Best Midsize Employers for 2018, the second year in a row we’ve earned a place on the list.

With just six weeks under my belt as the company’s chief people officer, I am not surprised Rackspace made the list; our culture is our secret sauce. It’s what brought me and others here. It’s why people call us and say, “How do you do that?”

“That” encompasses all aspects of our culture, but perhaps none more than the deeply held ethos to give back, embodied in our employee-run foundation, Rack Gives Back, in which Rackers volunteer their time, money and talents in almost endless ways: tutoring and mentoring in nearby schools, food drives, rebuilding after natural disasters and more.

Rackers also take care of and champion for each other through our many Racker Resources Groups, like RackParents, which advocates for family-friendly policies, RackVET, which supports the many veterans who work at Rackspace and Pride, our active LGBTQ group.

Our global Racker Resource Groups provide members and leaders with opportunities to grow their networks, be mentored, be supported, and practice leadership in a safe setting.

That care extends to individual Rackers, whom, when life throws them challenges like ill children, homes lost to hurricanes or other life-altering circumstances, see their fellow Rackers rally tightly and completely around them.

These days there are many “best of” lists, and honestly, they are not all created equal. What makes the Forbes list valuable is that it is based solely on employee feedback, on how Rackers feel about the place they work, rather than some third-party assessment. It’s the voice of the Racker.

Forbes partners with Statista, a database and consumer research firm, which anonymously surveys 30,000 U.S.-based employees across a number of industries. It then creates two lists, one for large companies over 5,000 employees, the other midsize for companies with 1,000-5,000 workers. (Rackspace employs more than 6,600, but many work outside the U.S.)

As we celebrate our 20th year in the IT industry, this is a true inflection point for Rackspace. We have evolved into an expert, trusted partner, guiding organizations through the challenges of digital transformation, from planning and migration, to security and operational support, to continuing adoption of emerging technologies.

Our culture, too, continues to evolve. Last year we acquired and are completing the integration of two large companies with amazing cultures of their own, TriCore Solutions and Datapipe. I am energized by the task of working with Rackers across the globe to create one Rackspace culture, supporting our business strategy to become the global leader in IT as a service and digital transformation. As our strategy evolves, so must our culture in order to enable us to help companies simplify, navigate, operate and optimize their IT in today’s multi-cloud world.

It’s an exciting time to be part of Rackspace, to help shape and mold not only the products and services we offer, but also the Fanatical Experience we’re creating, not just for our customers, but for our Rackers, who give us their all each and every day. And while we may update some aspects of our culture, Rackspace has been known for two decades as the service leader in our industry, a position affirmed by industry analysts such as Gartner and Forrester — and that will never change.

I am grateful to all the Rackers who took the time to fill out the survey from Forbes, just as I am appreciative of those who go on Glass Door or Indeed, or anywhere else to comment on our work and our culture. You are talking, and I promise you, the leaders at Rackspace are always listening.

Interested in becoming a Racker? Click the image above for more information.
As Chief People Officer, Laura Sue D’Annunzio helps Rackspace attract, retain and develop top talent and fosters a strong culture of engagement so the company — and individual Rackers — can achieve their full potential. Prior to joining Rackspace in March 2018, Laura Sue worked as an advisor to CEOs on strategic HR issues and as a career coach for MBA students at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Before that, she was a senior HR leader at Grant Thornton and Bain & Co. Earlier in her career, she served as a vice president for Booz and Co. and A.T. Kearney, where she worked with major corporations on people-related topics such as culture change, change management and human capital development. Laura Sue brings to Rackspace a rare combination of expertise in human resources and in business strategy. As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, she majored in Computer Science and Economics and interned in Silicon Valley. She later earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Laura Sue and her husband, Dave, enjoy spending time with their two hound dogs and boating.