Reed Hastings to step down as Netflix CEO, stay on as executive chairman
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings announced he is stepping down from his current position as co-CEO in a shakeup of company leadership, saying he still stay on as executive chairman for the streaming service giant.
Hastings, who co-founded Netflix along with Marc Randolph in 1997, said in a news release on Thursday that the company’s current chief operating officer, Greg Peters, will now serve alongside Ted Sarandos as co-CEOs.
“Starting today, Greg Peters will step up from COO to become Ted’s co-CEO,” Hastings said, sharing about passing “the CEO baton to others.”
Sarandos was promoted to his current co-CEO role in July 2020.
Hastings, 62, noted he was following other American business leaders such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who stepped down from CEO roles to transition to other senior positions in their companies.
“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,” the Netflix founder said.
Hastings also acknowledged recent struggles the company has faced in the past few years, noting how both Sarandos and Peters were able to guide the platform and developed “a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue and earnings growth.”
“Ted and Greg have developed great trust and respect for each other through their collective successes and failures,” Hastings added. “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.”
Netflix, home to popular streaming shows including “Stranger Things” and “The Crown,” released its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, saying it added 7.66 million subscribers in the quarter, surpassing the 4.5 million new subscribers the company had estimated, according to Variety.
Netflix had a challenging year in 2022 as the streaming giant experienced several rounds of layoffs and reported its first subscriber loss since October 2011. Netflix also launched initiatives including an ad-supported model and features to tackle the account/password-sharing issue that plagued the platform.
“We start 2023 with renewed momentum as a company and a clear path to reaccelerate our growth. I’m thrilled about Ted and Greg’s leadership, and their ability to make the next 25 years even better than the first,” Hastings said in his statement. “Here’s to the next chapter of Netflix and our leadership.”