Rackspace CEO Retires As Firm Looks Towards Hybrid Cloud

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Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier retires and is replaced by co-founder Graham Weston, who will steer the company to higher-level services

Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier is retiring from the company after seven years in charge. He will be replaced by co-founder Graham Weston, who led the company between 1999 and 2006, and now takes charge of the firm’s push into hybrid cloud, till a permanent successor is found.

Napier says it was a difficult decision to leave Rackspace, but is confident it is the right one as the firm continues its transformation. He will continue to serve as a consultant with the company in order to ensure a smooth transition.

“With the board and management team aligned around our strategy and financial plan heading into 2014, I believe now is a natural transition point and the right time to select a new leader for the next exciting phase of Rackspace’s growth,” says Napier.

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Weston is full of praise for Napier, saying that during his 14 years with the company, he helped to transform it from a tiny San Antonio-based startup into a “global leader in cloud computing” with $1.5bn in annual sales.

“I am honoured and excited to step in as CEO at this stage of the company’s growth, after having last held the job from 1999 to 2006,” says Weston. “My taking the reins as successor to Lanham will give our board all the time it needs to conduct a careful, thorough search to find the right CEO for the next decade.”

Rackspace has been looking towards the cloud as a way of offsetting any potential slowdown in its web hosting business and hopes that its Rackspace Cloud will help close the gap between itself and larger competitors such as Amazon Web Services.

Weston says the company is preparing itself for a new wave of mainstream business that is starting to move to the hybrid cloud and that it can differentiate itself from the ‘DIY’ approach of its rivals by offering a package of services, support and specialised expertise to businesses.

“This is a critical year in our history, so I plan to aggressively lead us toward our future as one of the clear leaders of the emerging cloud market — an opportunity that I view as one of the biggest in the history of business,” he declares.

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