May 31, 2017 – Executive search firm ON Partners has recruited Joe Eazor as the new chief executive officer of Rackspace, a managed cloud company. Rackspace president Jeff Cotten has served as interim CEO since the company’s previous chief executive, Taylor Rhodes, departed in early May. Co-founder and managing partner Tim Conti and partner Seth Harris led the assignment.
Mr. Eazor will be responsible for the company’s global strategy and operations, spanning the U.S. and other countries around the world where Rackspace maintains offices and data centers. He brings deep experience running everything from startups to huge divisions of global enterprises. He is said to be an inspiring leader with a strong track record of delivering value to customers, employees and investors.
Most recently, Mr. Eazor served as CEO of EarthLink, where he transformed its strategy, investing in profitable new products and exceptional customer service. In 2016, Forbes named Earthlink one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. In February, he led the sale of the company to Windstream for $1.1 billion. Before EarthLink, Mr. Eazor served as a top executive at EMC, HP and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). After HP’s acquisition of EDS, he was responsible for integrating that $22 billion business into its new parent organization. Prior to the acquisition, Mr. Eazor led EDS’s Asia Pacific business and offshoring operations. Earlier in his career, he worked with private equity investors as CEO of Springbow Solutions, an Internet portal services start-up. He currently serves on the boards of Commvault Systems and Discover Financial Services.
“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.”
Search for Technology Leaders Heating Up
The booming technology sector, vibrant even when the economy was softer, shows little sign of retreat, according to a host of recruiters who service companies across the field. It continues, in fact, to produce capabilities and services that few imagined just a decade ago.
“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.”
Mr. Eazor, for his part, said he saw a wealth of possibilities in his new job. “I’m excited by the huge market opportunity that Rackspace has, as companies move out of their corporate data centers and into multiple clouds,” he said. “Rackspace is uniquely well positioned to take advantage of this trend, as the only provider who can deliver expertise and exceptional customer service for all of the leading public and private clouds, along with managed hosting. Thanks to the strategy Rackspace adopted a few years ago, it’s got the early lead in the managed cloud space. My goal here is to build on that foundation and make us the world’s preeminent IT-services company.”
Rackspace helps businesses tap the power of cloud computing without the complexity and cost of managing it on their own. The company serves customers in 150 countries, including more than half of the Fortune 100.
With a primary focus on technology, energy / clean tech and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-suite, board directors and senior executive talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. The firm currently has consultants working from offices in Atlanta, Baltimore / Washington, D.C., Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Minneapolis, Portland, and Silicon Valley.
Recently, ON Partners recruited Bradley B. White as secretary and CFO and Ted Tewksbury, Ph.D., as a director and executive chairman of the board at publicly traded Energy Focus. Partner Bryan Buck and co-founder and managing partner Tim Conti led the searches. Mr. Conti has concentrated his practice on CXO, vice president and board level searches, recruiting senior leaders to technology, industrial and energy companies. His recent work has centered on disruptive companies in the areas of wireless, cloud computing, datacenter infrastructure, distributed energy generation and consumer electronics.
Last month, Wurster Partners merged with ON Partners, bolstering the firm’s expertise in global consumer brand recruiting. Founded in 2010, Wurster Partners has worked closely with both public and private companies across the consumer industry. The firm has also developed a reputable foothold in corporate officer and diversity recruitment in areas of marketing, digital, information systems, human resources and finance.
Founder and managing partner Michael Wurster now serves as a partner with ON Partners. He has nearly two decades of global experience and has advised international corporations, private equity and venture capital firms, and higher education and non-profit entities, specifically in areas of inclusion, succession planning and executive onboarding.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media