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Rackspace CEO: Kevin Jones Succeeds Joe Eazor

Former Rackspace CEO Joe Eazor
Former Rackspace CEO Joe Eazor
New Rackspace CEO Kevin Jones

Rackspace, a Top 100 Public Cloud MSP for 2018, has named Kevin Jones to succeed Joe Eazor as CEO, effective today.

On the one hand, the Rackspace CEO change is surprising since the managed cloud service provider (CSP) has been exploring a potential IPO, according to reports. But on the other hand, the transition from Eazor to Jones sounds like it was well-planned -- considering the PR-crafted Q&A that surfaced on the company's website along with Jones' extensive experience in the IT services market.

Indeed, Jones previously held key global leadership roles at DXC Technology, HP Enterprise (HPE), Dell Services and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). He most recently led a company turnaround as CEO of MV Transportation, a privately owned transportation contracting firm, Rackspace says.

Rackspace's Evolution

Under former CEO Eazor, Rackspace has aggressively pushed into the managed CSP market -- supporting customer workloads on third-party public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and on-premises for some scenarios.

Rackspace, owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, has also been acquiring companies -- including such names as:

  • TriCore for managed Oracle and SAP applications expertise;
  • Datapipe for multi-cloud managed services; and
  • RelationEdge for Salesforce consulting services.

In a lengthy prepared statement about the CEO change, Rackspace Chairman David Sambur welcomed Jones to the business, thanked Eazor for his service, and emphasized that the company continues to perform well -- stating in part:

"2019 in particular is a critical year for the Company, and we are proud that Rackspace is off to a strong start. The Company is financially stronger than ever and on track in achieving its near and long-term goals."

It sounds like Rackspace will double down on the managed CSP strategy under Jones.

Rackspace CEO Kevin Jones: Previous Experience

Jones previously was CEO of MV Transportation, the largest privately owned transportation contracting firm in the United States, employing more than 20,000 transit professionals in 153 locations across North America, Rackspace notes.

During his tenure, MV Transportation achieved the highest revenue-and second highest profit performance in the company’s 44 year history, Rackspace says, though actual financial figures were not disclosed.

In a prepared statement, Jones said:

“I am very excited to join Rackspace and its incredible leadership team. I have always admired Rackers’ passion for providing customers with an unparalleled experience. Rackspace has an industry leading growth strategy as it continues to partner with customers on their digital transformation journey, and I look forward to working with the team as we help customers accelerate the value of the cloud. Rackspace is the best partner in the marketplace to help any company decide how to  utilize the cloud and get the most out of its cloud applications.”

The big question: Can Jones lead Rackspace to an IPO -- or is some sort of strategic asset sale in the long-term business plan? We'll be watching.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.