Executive Movements News

Rackspace Promotes Company Veteran Jeff Cotten to President

Cotten will direct Rackspace’s sales and international operations, along with its fastest growing lines of business

Rackspace announced the promotion of Jeff Cotten to President of Rackspace, effective February 1. Cotten will report to Taylor Rhodes, CEO of Rackspace. Cotten started at Rackspace eight years ago as a frontline manager of employees responsible for delivering Rackspace’s vaunted Fanatical Support® to thousands of business customers. He then built and led important elements of the company’s U.S.-based enterprise and sales organizations. Cotten then spent three years directing the company’s $550 million international business from its offices in London and Zurich.

Since returning to Rackspace headquarters in San Antonio last summer, Cotten has led the company’s fast-growing new line of business that delivers expertise and Fanatical Support for customers who want to achieve the highest performance and cost-efficiency on Amazon Web Services® (AWS) cloud infrastructure. Cotten and his team have rapidly made Rackspace one of the top managed service providers for AWS, with hundreds of engineers certified as experts on the AWS platform.

As President of Rackspace, Cotten will lead the company’s global sales team, its international businesses, and its fastest-growing businesses, including Fanatical Support for AWS, Rackspace Managed Security, and the company’s services for customers who run ecommerce and digital marketing solutions.

“Jeff is a Racker success story — a veteran who has led at every level in the company,” said Rhodes. “In every leadership role that we’ve given him, he has delivered expertise and support that customers couldn’t get anywhere else, all the while inspiring industry-leading levels of engagement from the Rackers in his care. Jeff is uniquely qualified to serve as our President.”

Alex Pinchev, EVP and President of Global Sales and Marketing, will be retiring from Rackspace at the end of January. He will help Cotten transition into his new role. “We are grateful to Alex for coming out of retirement last year to help us raise our game,” added Rhodes. “Alex has provided us with strong, experienced leadership in a time of transition for Rackspace. We thank him for his many contributions.”

A seasoned enterprise sales executive, Pinchev helped Rackspace land a record number of complex, multi-cloud customers who pay the company six- and seven-figure sums each month. In 2016, Rackspace deals worth $100,000 or more per month grew by 32 percent. The company now serves more than half of the global enterprises in the FORTUNE 100. Rackspace customers include Digitas, DirecTV, the pizza company Domino’s, Razorfish, Sony, TD Bank, and Yeti.

Founded in 1998, Rackspace went public in 2008 and in November 2016 became a private company through an acquisition led by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC, a leading alternative investment management firm based in New York City. “I’m proud to have helped guide Rackspace through this transition,” Pinchev said, “and now I think it’s a good time for me to return to retirement.” Pinchev plans to continue to serve on the boards of several fast-growing technology companies, and says he will continue to “recommend Rackspace to my friends and cheer for its success.”

Rackspace’s Chief Marketing Officer, Carla Pineyro Sublett, who reported to Pinchev, will report directly to Rhodes. “This move,” Rhodes said, “is in recognition of her performance and leadership over the past year,” which has been noted not only inside Rackspace but also by Inc. magazine, which recently featured her in its list of “17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017.”

Stepping up to replace Cotten as General Manager of the Fanatical Support on AWS business is his deputy, Prashanth Chandrasekar, a five-year Rackspace leader who in his previous role launched the company’s industry-leading DevOps services. “I’m pleased to see Prashanth take on this new responsibility,” said Cotten. “He has directed sales and customer operations for our AWS business since its inception and he deserves much of the credit for its success. I’m also ecstatic to re-join our sales and international missions to drive our leading managed cloud services across the globe.”

“We’re delighted by Taylor’s promotion of Jeff and Prashanth,” said David Sambur, a Senior Partner at Apollo. “They are representative of the deep talent pool and the executive development capabilities that make Rackspace such a unique and incredible company.”

“I’m confident that Jeff, Carla, and Prashanth are in the right roles to help us take Rackspace to the next level,” said Rhodes. “Our strategy remains the same: to help businesses navigate the complexity of the multi-cloud world, and to enable them to tap the power of public and private clouds without the pain — without the expense and complexity of trying to manage it all themselves.”

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