As Netflix announced its quarterly earnings, co-founder Reed Hastings revealed that after 25 years of running the company that grew from delivering video disc rentals by mail into a streaming behemoth, he is no longer its CEO.
He named content chief Ted Sarandos co-CEO in 2020, and Sarandos will continue on in that role but will now share duties as co-CEO with Greg Peters, Netflix’s former chief operating officer. In other executive moves, Bela Bajaria is now Netflix’s chief content officer, and Scott Stuber has been named the chair of Netflix Film.
Hastings exits as CEO of the company on the day it reports 223 million paying subscribers worldwide. The company is now a massive player in creating content, not just distributing it, and recently negotiated a limited theatrical debut for Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion movie.
The change in leadership also takes place as Netflix rolls out ad-supported streaming for the first time and places firmer restrictions around password and account sharing. Both are actions Hastings had publicly resisted until last spring’s drop in subscribers — the first time in a decade that happened, dating back to the Qwikster debacle — pushed the company to revisit its stances.
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 written above in his post announcing the move, Hastings is assuming the role of executive chair, a position he says he’ll be in “for many years to come.”
Disclosure: The Verge recently produced a series with Netflix.