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‘Right time to complete my succession’: Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings steps down as company CEO

62-year-old Reed Hastings co-founded the business and will now serve as chairman. Ted Sarandos, the company's chief content officer, will join as a co-chief executive with Greg Peters, the chief product and operating officer.

On Thursday, 19th January 2023, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings announced he is stepping down as chief executive of the company. Longtime business partner and co-CEO Ted Sarandos and chief operating officer Greg Peters will take over from him.

62-year-old Reed Hastings co-founded the business and will now serve as chairman. Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, will join as a co-chief executive with Greg Peters, the chief product and operating officer. In July 2020, Sarandos was promoted to co-CEO.

Hastings’ inspiration for Netflix’s co-founding as a DVD-by-mail company stemmed from his dissatisfaction at having returned a rental of “Apollo 13” to the local Blockbuster, a chain of actual US storefronts where movies could be rented. Netflix began sending its customers movies on DVDs in the mail in 1997.

In his statement, Reed Hastings said, “In the last two and a half years, I’ve increasingly delegated the management of Netflix to them. 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.”

The Walt Disney Company, Amazon, and other companies have been putting pressure on Netflix by investing billions of dollars to produce TV episodes and movies for internet viewers.

Netflix’s customer losses in the first half of 2022 startled Wall Street. In the second half, the company started growing once again. Reed Hastings stepped down as Netflix reported 7.66 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter, above Wall Street expectations of 4.57 million, thanks to “Harry & Meghan” and “Wednesday” in the race to attract streaming television viewers.

Netflix was founded by Reed Hastings and serial entrepreneur Marc Randolph 25 years ago. Its primary competitors at first were rental companies like Blockbuster, which went out of business in 2014. The corporation shook up the media industry in 2007 when it introduced a streaming service, inspiring both conventional and technological players to develop their own services.

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OpIndia Staff
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