Hotwire

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Hotwire Reviews

Updated 7 August, 2014
Updated 7 August, 2014
107 Reviews

3.2
107 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Hotwire President Henrik Kjellberg
Henrik Kjellberg
21 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company respects work-life balance, while still offering challenging opportunities (in 28 reviews)

  • Exciting industry (travel) discounts on travel products (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance are non-existent depending on the group (in 4 reviews)

  • If you're looking for career growth, you need to make sure you are on your manager's radar at all times (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great people to work with but poor leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros

    All the people I worked with were outstanding, but lack of leadership led to the company's downfall and layoffs last Fall. I wasn't part of the layoffs but after so many people left I decided to leave to for a better opportunity. There is work/life balance though but that's because I don't think people want to stay any longer at work then they have to!

    Cons

    True creativity and innovation is not valued. It's an extremely analytical company to the point that those that rely on intuition are not valued. Everything has a cost and number which is fine, but not when it comes at the price of not understanding what customers actually want. Everyone gets lost pinching pennies and then doesn't understand what they can't see the forest for the trees. There's no investment in what will actually make customers happy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give people more creative freedom to solve problems and invest in long-term solutions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Worse company to work at

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros

    Benefits are sub-par. There's really nothing good left to say about this place.

    Cons

    Morale is down due to staff reductions in 2013 & those left all want to leave, moreover no one wants to apply to work here anymore. Salary is low. An positive review written on here are either from HR or management who are trying to entice new candidates to join a sinking ship. Henrik has Napoleon's complex. I'm sure he'll get the boot next. Funny how he came in a laid off half the work force then the remaining half all quit! Because of that, HR has stopped hiring for the SF office and now recruiting for Bellevue where there's less of a turnover. What a shame how fast this company fell.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck trying to re-build.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic company & extraordinary workforce

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Risk Management  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Risk Management in San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros

    This is hands down the best job I have ever had and the best company I have ever worked for in my career! Some of the perks may be typical for San Francisco but Hotwire has a unique advantage since it is a fairly small company with a big corporate backing (Expedia Inc). This provides a more intimate working environment where you are able to wear many different hats and get to know most of your coworkers while maintaining job security. The added bonus is that you receive excellent benefits, especially if you love to travel!

    There is always something fun happening in the office, whether it's a group gathering to watch the Word Cup, a serious game of ping pong or a full blown Cinco de Mayo party. There are also several annual events such as the bowling tournament and summer picnic. These are all great opportunities to get to know your coworkers on a more personal level while having a blast!

    The best part of Hotwire is the individuals that make up each of the teams. It's a very inviting atmosphere which fosters creativity and is not overly competitive. There is a willingness to share knowledge for the common good of the company and senior management is very approachable. The workforce is also very diverse with employees and executives from all over the world with a great deal of longevity which offers various perspectives.

    Cons

    Travel is a very competitive industry and you must be willing to work hard as well as be open to an ever changing environment. Hotwire is currently making significant investments in its infrastructure, which can be challenging at times to different teams. Overall the pros outweigh the cons!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to be clear about the company's direction and our plan to stay competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    It is a Dream Job!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Facilities  in  San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Facilities in San Francisco, CA (US)

    Pros

    The peoples are great to work with! And the events that they have are fun and entertaining! The work environment is great and positive. The location is perfect. Henrik Kjellberg is a great CEO to work for and he has an open door policy! I love that everybody sit in a cube. Even the CEO!

    Cons

    For me there is no cons!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good Job!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Trying for a fresh start but keeps revisiting the plan to do so

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Solid set of long-term back-end engineers who are holding down the fort but constrained by limited resources and an aging product on the front-end.

    Renewed focus on analytics could bear fruit.

    Finally realizing that the "we've always done it this way" approach doesn't work anymore in some areas and starting to try new things like off-loading certain functions to Expedia.

    Cons

    HR seems to think company culture and employee motivation is developed from throwing in a few free lunches and having long company meetings. They keep your bonus and pay limited as an existing employee as it is has dependencies both on overall division (Hotwire) and also company (Expedia) performance so you take a hit if either doesn't meet plan even though though the CEO of Expedia always talks of "throwing off cash". They have an unnecessarily long delay of 4 months in-between the time you complete your yearly review with your manager to when bonus payouts and yearly increases hit. Managers don't even read the reviews anyway and even though they claimed to drop the calibration / sliding scale system it not so secretly still exists, you just aren't told your score.

    New president came in and followed his formulaic approach used at another division of lay-offs followed by bringing in his friends from other parts of the company. There was definitely some change needed in the old guard at the Exec level who blindly let the competition eat their lunch but the lay-offs at lower levels were nonstrategic and left certain parts of the org decimated and without needed resources.

    So far in 2014 strategies have shifted multiple times and overall they are on the hook for delivering more than the org can reasonably accomplish. Some of the newly established org goals are idealistic though clearly unobtainable - they missed the "R" in SMART goals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think more long term and don't make short term decisions that will bite you later. Example: Laying off software engineers (in San Francisco!?!) when you are still very profitable but not meeting the company plan just to find yourself needing more engineers a few months later to sustain the business. Now it's tough to hire them as everyone knows you lay-off people, hmmm.

    Set a few realistic goals and priorities that everyone can get behind and stick with them.

    Simplify your strategy to a few succinct goals that people can remember and start executing and deliver it before changing it again before it even gets out of the gate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Marketing Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Amazing work/life balance, great benefits and travel perks, on-site gym, smart and nice people, great office/location...the new president is extremely insightful/smart and has a clear vision on the direction he wants to take the company.

    Cons

    Often too conservative and not willing to take risks (this is changing), growth opportunities are limited, compensation is lower than competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the clear vision and transparency. However, need to boost moral and inject more fun into the culture in order to get the company back to its roots. Employees/talent afraid to join the company or stay due to negative opinions circulating, this is changing, but really need to highlight the benefits of the company and it's strong brand.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    This place is going down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    If you want a job with great work/life balance, look no further. It is also situated in a great location with plenty of lunch options.

    Cons

    Below average compensation; Lost office culture; Too much turnover and too many unhappy employees. It has been one full year since the new CEO/President joined and we are still seeing reorg happening every now and then. It is obvious that management doesn't know what to do and which direction to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too little too late. Culture has been lost despite management's effort to bring it back.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    I loved the company especially the training.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative  in  Portland, OR (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Portland, OR (US)

    Pros

    The call center environment was what I enjoyed

    Cons

    I worked very hard to complete tasks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing to add for mgmt.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Terribly managed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative  in  Tigard, OR (US)
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Tigard, OR (US)

    Pros

    While the turn over rate for this place was insane, the few employees that stuck it out were generally good people. Connecting on a level of "I-hate-this-place" was our common ground. Some of the management team was tolerable.

    Cons

    No incentive or perks, minimum wage with no shift differential or opportunity for raises, ever-changing expectations and training, jumbled management and policy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no help for this place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great change takes time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Work/wellness balance. People want you to take care of yourself here.
    Coworkers and great humor in the office.
    Redeveloping company culture with great results.
    Lots of new hires have come in with a smile on their face, freshening up the place.

    Cons

    Change is slow, and rebuilding the company takes a significant amount of effort.
    If you're looking for career growth, you need to make sure you are on your manager's radar at all times.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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