Jeff Cotten will lead global sales, international business and Rackspace's fastest-growing business segments.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

January 10, 2017

2 Min Read
Rackspace Picks Cotten as New Prez

Facing competitive squeeze from market leaders Amazon and Microsoft, Rackspace promoted Jeff Cotten to company president, reporting to CEO Taylor Rhodes, the company said Tuesday.

As president, Cotten will lead global sales, international businesses and Rackspace 's fastest-growing business segments, including support for AWS, managed security, e-commerce and digital marketing solutions.

Cotten started at Rackspace eight years ago managing support -- Rackspace calls it "Fanatical Support" -- for business customers, and then built and led parts of the company's US-based enterprise and sales organizations. Later, he directed Rackspace's $550 million international business from its offices in London and Zurich, the company said in a statement posted Tuesday.

Since returning to Rackspace HQ in San Antonio in the summer, Cotten has led its business providing expertise and support for enterprises on Amazon Web Services.

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Cotten replaces Alex Pinchev, EVP and president of global sales and marketing, who retires at the end of this month, the company says. Pinchev came to Rackspace out of retirement in December 2015, and helped lead the company through its $4.3 billion transition from public to private. (See Rackspace Sale Speeds Pivot to Cloud Support.)

Founded in 1998, Rackspace was a cloud pioneer, but has since been eclipsed by Amazon Web Services Inc. , which dominates the infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service markets, with Microsoft Azure, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) also leading Rackspace. More recently, Rackspace has shifted its strategy, offering consulting to help enterprises build and run cloud services on AWS and Azure, though Rackspace continues to maintain its own OpenStack cloud. (See Rackspace: We Don't Do Colo (We Never Did).)

In other leadership changes, Rackspace Chief Marketing Officer Carla Pineyro Sublett, who reported to Pinchev, will report directly to Rhodes. And Prashanth Chandrasekar will fill Cotten's shoes as general manager for Fanatical Support on AWS; Chandrasekar previously launched DevOps services for Rackspace.

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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