Netflix Ups Executive Compensation Despite Shareholder Disapproval

Facing a swarm of new SVOD competition apparently requires hikes in executive compensation at Netflix. The SVOD behemoth Dec. 23 disclosed a lucrative 2020 senior executive compensation plan that shareholders largely voted against earlier this year.

In June, 158.66 million shareholders voted against the plan while 158.46 million voted for it. While the margin was only 190,862 votes against, Netflix said the vote was non-binding.

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As a result, co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings will see his base salary (what Netflix pays taxes on) decrease to $650,000 (from $700,000) while stock-based compensation increases to $34 million from $30.8 million. CCO Ted Sarandos, who reportedly once managed a small chain of video stores in Arizona in the 1980s, gets a $2 million salary increase to $20 million and $14.6 million in stock options (from $13.5 million).

First-year CFO Spencer Neumann will receive $6 million salary and $5.5 million in stock options, while chief product officer Greg Peters receives a salary boost to $12.9 million (from $10 million) and stock options of $6.9 million — up from $3.85 million.

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Netflix shares are down slightly at $332.07 per share. The company, which spent $15 billion on content in 2019 remains profitable on paper, despite generating $3 billion in negative free cash flows.

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