New Rackspace prez has his eye on the prize

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Rackspace’s(s rax) new president knows he has a raft of competitors in the cloud wars, but he worries about some more than others. And he knows Rackspace has to prove it can compete with competitors — especially one competitor with a ton of scale. “They’ve gotten ahead of us, but we’re in a very long game,” Taylor Rhodes said this week.

He didn’t utter the “A word” but he was talking about Amazon Web Services, which launched in 2006 and started building a massive business while competitors — Rackspace, along with legacy IT players like IBM(s ibm), Microsoft(s msft), HP(s hpq) — were getting their cloud acts together.

Going forward in 2014, “our challenge is around perception and building momentum,” Rhodes said in an interview the day his new gig was announced. It’s not like Rackspace, San Antonio, Texas, has been standing still. It launched its OpenStack-based public cloud in 2012

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