Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings announced Thursday that he would step down from his post at the company after more than two decades. He attributed his decision to health concerns and said he hopes to remain involved with the company in some capacity following his departure. In a statement, Hastings thanked Netflix employees for their support over the years and said he was ” enormously proud of what we’ve built.”
Netflix is known for its unwavering creativity in film and television production, but the departure of Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos signals a new era for the company. Sarandos’ strategic planning has predated Hastings’ arrival on Netflix’s board of directors, and his departure signals a new plan for leadership that will continue to produce high-quality content for audiences around the world.
Ted Sarandos is a well-respected leader in the film and television industry, and has been with Netflix for many years. As co-CEO, he will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s content ambitions. This change signals an intensification of Netflix’s focus on original programming, which has been popular among its subscribers.
Netflix has promoted COO Greg Peters to the tandem role with CEO Reed Hastings in Hastings’ absence. This move signifies that Peters will be responsible for running day-to-day operations while Hastings remains responsible for overall strategy and leadership.
While many within the company are optimistic about Sarandos and Peters’ ability to lead COVID to continued success, their baptism by fire will likely prove to be a challenging process. With recent challenges including lacklustre viewership numbers and FOX’s decision to pull its programming from the network, COVID will need all the help it can get if it hopes to turn things around.
Netflix’s board of directors believes it is the right time to complete CEO Reed Hastings’ succession, with Bob Iger being nominated to take over. Iger, who currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Walt Disney Company, is a seasoned executive with experience in both the television and movie industries. With his extensive knowledge of both Netflix and its competitors, Iger is poised to lead Netflix into the future with continued success.
Since departing Microsoft in 2014, Gates has been heavily involved in his philanthropic work and also serves as the chairman of many technology companies including Expedia and Melia. Hastings plans to continue both his philanthropy work and involvement with digital health startups via his new company, Giving Works.