Reed Hastings Steps Down as Netflix Co-CEO

The streaming giant has had a challenging past 12-months. Though things are looking up for the company, Hastings is ceding his role.

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Photo of Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos in front of Netflix logo
After about 25 years, Reed Hastings (left) has ceded his leadership role at Netflix to co-CEOs Ted Sarandos (left) and Greg Peters (not pictured).
Photo: Ahn Young-joon (AP)

Reed Hastings, Netflix co-CEO and one of the company’s co-founders, is stepping down. In his place, the streaming service’s board has appointed two executives to lead the company together: Ted Sarandos, who has been a chief executive officer alongside Hastings since 2020, and Greg Peters, previously Netflix’s chief operating officer. 

The company announced the regime change, apparently years in the works, in a blogpost, published on Thursday along with the streamer’s 2022 last quarter financial report.

Hastings won’t be cutting ties with Netflix entirely. Instead he is shifting to an executive chairman position on the company’s board—as Jeff Bezos did at Amazon in 2021 and Bill Gates did with Microsoft in 2000. Hastings, the 62-year old billionaire, has been CEO of Netflix for about 25 years.

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The streaming service pioneer had something of a challenging 2022. Between increased competition from the likes of Amazon Prime and Disney+, a post-pandemic slump, and a history of questionable financial decision making, the company reported a subscriber loss for the first time in a decade. Its stock plummeted. And though the Netflix managed a partial bounce back in the later part of the year, it’s still not growing at the rate it used to.

In today’s financial report, the streamer’s new subscriber numbers far exceeded expectations, and finally made up for earlier losses. But its quarterly revenue growth was about as dismal as expected: 1.9%, compared with 16% in the last quarter of 2021.

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Of Sarandos and Peters, Hastings wrote, “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.” 

Following the change in leadership announcement, Netflix’s stock price rose more than 5% in after-hours trading. It remains down by more than 35% from 12 months ago.