Rackspace CEO Napier retires

Founder Graham Weston taking over as interim CEO as search for successor kicks off

Lanham Napier

Lanham Napier

Rackspace announced Monday that CEO Lanham Napier is retiring and that co-founder and Executive Chairman Graham Weston is filling the role for now.

Napier is a long-time executive of the hosting company, which has pivoted in recent years to become one of the industry’s major cloud computing providers.

The shakeup comes just weeks after Rackspace named a new president - Taylor Rhodes, who was formerly the company’s Chief Customer Officer and before that he served as head of the company’s international business. The move comes less than a year after the company’s former long-time president Lew Moorman stepped down in the summer of 2013 for personal family reasons.

After founding the company, Weston served as CEO for seven years until 2006. But this time around, he’s merely keeping the seat warm while Rackspace embarks on a search for a successor CEO.

On the company’s “Leadership” web page, Napier is already listed as former CEO, but along with Moorman, is also named a consultant. So both former executives still have roles with the company. According to a press release from Rackspace, Napier is leaving to invest in and advise other entrepreneurial companies.

The company’s most notable work in recent years has been in pioneering the OpenStack cloud computing platform. Rackspace established OpenStack along with NASA and remains a major corporate sponsors of it.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW. Read his Cloud Chronicles here.  

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