Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings is resigning from his position

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Netflix made an announcement on Thursday that its founder, Reed Hastings, will be transitioning from his role as co-CEO to serve as executive chairman. This move comes as part of the company’s long-term succession planning strategy. Reed Hastings will be succeeded by co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters.

Reed Hastings, who established Netflix in 1997, has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way people consume movies and TV shows. Netflix began by offering DVD-by-mail services and later transformed the industry with its streaming video platform.

During his tenure, Netflix disrupted traditional movie rental businesses like Blockbuster and played a pivotal role in reshaping the entertainment landscape by heavily investing in original content. Notably, Netflix experienced a significant setback in 2011 when it briefly considered splitting its streaming service from its DVD business, rebranding the latter as “Qwikster.”

However, the streaming giant faced challenges last year, as it lost subscribers due to intensified competition from other streaming services. In response, Netflix introduced its first-ever lower-priced, ad-supported subscription tier.

These changes appear to be yielding positive results. In its recent earnings report, Netflix disclosed that it gained over 7.6 million subscribers in the last quarter of the previous year, surpassing its projected 4.5 million additions and bringing its total paying subscriber count to over 230 million worldwide.

Netflix attributed this renewed growth to popular original programs like “Wednesday” and “Harry & Meghan.” The company also mentioned the traction gained by its ad-supported subscription offering, launched in November.

Netflix further revealed plans to expand paid sharing enforcement, focusing on cracking down on password sharing. It posted more than $7.8 billion in revenue for the December quarter, which represented a modest 1.9% increase from the previous year but was in line with analysts’ expectations. For the current quarter, Netflix anticipates a 4% growth in revenue, driven in part by a modest increase in paid net subscription additions, marking a reversal from a slight decline in subscriptions during the same period last year.

Following the report, Netflix’s stock saw a roughly 6% increase in after-hours trading.

Reed Hastings’ transition from the CEO role raises questions about Netflix’s future strategy, particularly in light of slow revenue growth and economic concerns. However, the company asserts that this leadership change reflects its internal operational model and the complementary skill sets of Sarandos and Peters. Ted Sarandos, who has been responsible for Netflix’s content operations since 2000 and the introduction of original content in 2013, is a prominent figure in both Netflix and Hollywood. Greg Peters, with prior roles as COO and chief product officer, has played a crucial role in expanding Netflix’s global reach.

Reed Hastings expressed his confidence in the skills, knowledge, and track record of Sarandos and Peters. Ted Sarandos also expressed his enthusiasm for this new chapter in collaboration with Greg Peters as co-CEO.

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