Departing Rackspace CEO Says Company Strong, On Right Track
Taylor Rhodes' resignation comes 6 months after Rackspace went private. He says his decision to leave after nearly 3 years as CEO crystallized when the company was bought by Apollo Global Management.
"I was then faced with the simple reality, which is, do I view myself as being able to give Rackspace my very best, my all, for the next five plus years," Rhodes explains.
Rhodes supports going private with Apollo, but says Rackspace now needs someone who sees the company as the No. 1 opportunity. For Rhodes, the CEO job went from strategizing and calming a nervous market that saw its stock price drop 50 percent in a year, to going private and executing their new business plan long-term.
In some ways, Rhodes sees his next job as a chance to recapture some of the magic he felt from Rackspace's hyper-growth period 10 years ago. He has described the undisclosed Chicago company as cloud-based and fast growing.
"[It's] got a great vision and a great strategy, but needs help implementing it and scaling it. Teaching and hiring well and building new products to complement what it is doing. Those are really exciting growth-y opportunities for me. I am a growth guy," he says.
Some publications speculated Rhodes was leaving to have more time with his family. He and his wife of 19 years have 3 children. Rhodes said while this next job is not going to be just a 40-hours-and-done position, he does think that going to a smaller company will allow him to recapture some time.
Rackspace released some financial details to assuage any fears about Rhodes' departure as performance based, and they show a growing company.
He says his departure shouldn't worry employees.
"Apollo, our owners, are committed to San Antonio. They actually see us being here as part of our secret sauce."
Rackspace President Jeffrey Cotten is stepping in as CEO, something Rhodes says he hopes they make permanent.