Netflix Co-Founder, Reed Hastings Is Stepping Down As CEO

As Netflix reported its quarterly earnings, co-founder Reed Hastings said that after 25 years of running the company, which went from renting DVDs by mail to a streaming giant, he was no longer the CEO.

He made Ted Sarandos, who was in charge of content, co-CEO in 2020. Sarandos will still be in charge of content, but he will now work with Greg Peters, who was Netflix’s former COO, as co-CEO. Bela Bajaria is now Netflix’s chief content officer, and Scott Stuber is now the chair of Netflix Film.

Netflix Co-Founder, Reed Hastings Is Stepping Down As CEO
Netflix Co-Founder Reed Hastings Is Stepping Down As CEO

Hastings steps down as CEO of the company on the same day it says it has 223 million paying subscribers worldwide.

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The company is now a big player in both making and distributing content and it recently worked out a deal for Rian Johnson’s movie Glass Onion to make a limited debut in theatres.

It is also building a growing gaming business, starting with mobile games and showing signs of bigger plans to come.

Netflix is also rolling out streaming with ads for the first time and making it harder for people to share passwords and accounts at the same time. Hastings had publicly said he didn’t want to do either of these things until last spring when subscribers dropped for the first time since the Qwikster scandal. This caused the company to rethink its position.

Starting today, Greg Peters will step up from COO to become Ted’s co-CEO. Going forward, I’ll be serving as Executive Chairman, a role that founders often take (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc.) after they pass the CEO baton to others. Ted, Greg and I have been working closely together in different capacities for 15 years. As is common in long, effective relationships, we’ve all learned how to bring out the best in each other. I look forward to working with them in this role for many years to come.

Ted and Greg have developed great trust and respect for each other through their collective successes and failures. In addition, they can always be relied upon to put Netflix’s interests first. These qualities — combined with their complementary skill sets, deep knowledge of entertainment and technology, and proven track record at Netflix — create a unique opportunity to deliver faster growth and greater success long term with them as co-CEOs.

As he said in the post where he announced the move, Hastings is taking on the role of executive chair, which he says he will do “for many years to come.”

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