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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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danielcawrey 1/10/2017 | 4:00:12 PM
AWS Very interesting to hear Rackspace is such a leader in AWS. I actually had no idea that had become a big part of the company's business. When you think about it, this isn't surprising. It's just I have not be exposed to any marketing messages where they talk about this. 
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