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BusinessDay

Reed Hastings steps down as co-CEO of Netflix

Reed Hastings, co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix, is stepping down as chief executive officer. He announced that he will now take on the role of executive chairman of the company.

Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and formerly chief content officer, and Greg Peters, previously chief product officer and COO, will now serve jointly as co-CEOs of the streaming giants. Netflix named Bela Bajaria, formerly head of global TV, to the position of chief content officer, while Scott Stuber, head of global films, has the new title of chairman of Netflix Film.

Hastings tweeted, “Ted & Greg are now co-CEOs. After 15 years together we have a great shorthand & I’m so confident in their leadership. Twice the heart, double the ability to please members & accelerate growth. Proud to serve as Executive Chairman for many years to come.”

The change in leadership is coming at the back of Netflix reporting fourth quarter 2022 earnings on Thursday, adding a net 7.7 million new subscribers, which is more than the 4.5 million it previously forecast in mid 2022.

Hastings revealed in a blog post that succession planning for the company has been a topic of discussion by the board for several years. As part of that, the company promoted Sarandos to co-CEO alongside Hastings in July 2020, when it also appointed Peters to the role of chief operating officer in addition to chief product officer.

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Over the last two and a half years, “I’ve increasingly delegated the management of Netflix to Sarandos and Peters”, said Hastings, “It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business. But they’ve both managed incredibly well, ensuring Netflix continues to improve and developing a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue and earnings growth. So the board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession.”

Going forward, Hastings said, he will be “helping Greg and Ted, and, like any good chairman, be a bridge from the board to our co-CEOs.” He added, “I’ll also be spending more time on philanthropy, and remain very focused on Netflix stock doing well.”

Sarandos said in a statement, “I want to thank Reed for his visionary leadership, mentorship and friendship over the last 20 years. We’ve all learned so much from his intellectual rigor, honesty and willingness to take big bets – and we look forward to working with him for many more years to come.”

Regarding the promotions of Bajaria and Stuber, Sarandos had this to say: “Bela and Scott are outstanding creative executives with proven track records at Netflix. In 2022 we premiered many of our most popular series and films in Netflix history, including ‘Wednesday,’ ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,’ ‘Purple Hearts,’ ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,’ ‘The Adam Project’ and ‘Harry & Meghan’ — a testament to their leadership and creativity.

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