Netflix's co-founder, Reed Hastings, has stepped down from his position as CEO and will take on the role of executive chairman. He will be succeeded by Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters who will work together as co-CEOs.
The news, which is effective immediately, represents a culmination of a decade of succession planning by the streaming service's board. As part of that process, the firm promoted Sarandos to co-CEO alongside Hastings in July 2020, and Peters to chief operating officer (COO). In the last two and a half years, Hastings has also increasingly delegated the management of Netflix to Sarandos and Peters.
"It was a baptism by fire, given COVID-19 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," Hastings wrote in a statement. "So the board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession."
"Sarandos, Peters 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," Hastings added.
Hastings will be assisting Sarandosand Peters and will be a bridge between the board and Netflix's newest co-CEOs. Hastings will also be spending more time on philanthropy, while continuing to remain very focused on Netflix's stock.
Netflix also announced that it had appointed Bela Bajaria as its chief content officer and Scott Stuber Chairman of Netflix Film.
"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.
On an advertising front, Netflix has officially launched its US$6.99 lower-priced, ad-supported membership tier across 12 countries. The ad-discounted tier, a first for Netflix, has rolled out in Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Spain and the United States.
Unfortunately, the tier has not been doing well for the brand as yet according to data from analytics firm Antenna which said that only 9% of new Netflix subscribers in the United States (US) opted for the streaming service’s ad-based tier in November 2022. Additionally, only 0.1% of existing subscribers converted their plan to the service’s ad tier. This makes it Netflix’s least popular plan options at the moment.
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