Rackspace has hired technology industry veteran Joe Eazor as the new CEO of its global cloud hosting business, effective on June 12. According to the company’s board of directors, Mr. Eazor is one of the most seasoned and effective CEOs in the technology industry. Joe Eazor has deep experience running everything from startups to huge divisions of global enterprises.
Mr. Eazor most recently served as CEO of EarthLink, a pioneer of dial-up Internet service that he led into “profitable new areas of cloud networking.”
While at EarthLink, Eazor “transformed its strategy, investing in new products and customer service. According to Rackspace, he doubled free cash flow, sharply lifted employee culture scores and achieved a 79 percent CEO approval rating on Glassdoor. In 2016, Forbes named Earthlink one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. In February, Eazor led the sale of the company to Windstream for $1.1 billion. With that transaction, he delivered significant returns to shareholders during his three years as CEO.
“As soon as the call came about Rackspace, I knew that was where I wanted to go,” said Joe Eazor. “I know the company. I’ve visited the headquarters and felt the spirit there, and watched Rackers at work. I admire Rackspace’s well-earned reputation for expertise and Fanatical Support – and for a workplace culture that makes that great support possible.”
Before leading EarthLink, Eazor served as a top executive at EMC, HP and EDS. After HP’s acquisition of EDS, Eazor was responsible for integrating that $22 billion business into its new parent. Prior to the acquisition by HP, he led EDS’s Asia Pacific business and offshoring operations while living in Shanghai, China. Earlier in his career, he gained experience working with private equity investors as CEO of an Internet portal services startup called Springbow Solutions. He also currently serves on the boards of Commvault Systems and Discover Financial Services.
Rackspace President Jeff Cotten has served as interim CEO since the company’s previous chief executive, Taylor Rhodes, departed in early May. Cotten will now continue to serve as president of Rackspace. “All of us feel that Joe will be a great culture fit, as well as a very effective CEO,” said Jeff Cotten, who knew Eazor when they both worked at EDS nearly a decade ago. “Joe brings deep IT services experience, and strong leadership qualities. I look forward to working with him.”
Joe Eazor earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He and his family have been living in the Dallas, Texas area off and on over the last 25 years.
“Joe has had a long and successful career growing IT services businesses,” said David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo Global Management and chairman of the Rackspace board of directors. “He has a proven reputation for driving investment and allocation of resources to the areas that will generate the best returns. Joe has led large and complex organizations. And he will be a good fit as CEO for Rackspace, a company whose culture is a unique asset that has produced industry leading Net Promoter Scores and low customer churn.”