UNITED STATES: Reed Hastings ends his streak as Netflix’s co-CEO by announcing that he will be stepping down from the position on January 19. Hastings had been Netflix’s CEO after taking over the position from Marc Randolph, his friend, and fellow company co-founder, in the late 1990s.
The present Chief Operating Officer, Greg Peters, would take over to become the co-CEO alongside Ted Sarandos. Hastings, on the other hand, would remain as Executive Chairman.
In a recent blog post, Hastings said that he would aid Greg and Ted and follow up on his duties. He also says that his focus will now be on doing good things for others and figuring out how Netflix’s stock is doing.
Hastings lauds the company for its innovations and efficiency, which give a lot of power to the top performers and a lot of liberty to ensure Netflix’s success.
The company announced an increase in Netflix’s subscriber growth in a letter to the shareholders, suggesting the inclusion of ads in the unadvanced version of the streaming service. This is useful, as the inclusion of ads helps fight hard competition by targeting cost-conscious customers.
Netflix’s worldwide subscribers are now 231 million, with a 7.7 million surge from October to December. This has helped Netflix stay ahead of its rival streaming competition, like that of Amazon, Hulu, Apple, and Google’s YouTube. Walt Disney Co.
On the other hand, Netflix lost 2 lakh subscribers in the first quarter of the fiscal year and another 2 million in the second half.
Neil Saunders, who is in charge of GlobalData, says that when Hasting leaves his job, “the company’s culture could change and become more cautious, especially since the economy is still uncertain.”
Incoming co-CEO Peters, who had confirmed that there would be no major changes to announce, says in an interview with an analyst that “there are no big strategy shifts.”
Richard Greenfield, a veteran media analyst at LightShed Ventures, says that Hastings’ way of handling the change in management is “elegant.”