Netflix co-founder/co-CEO Reed Hastings’ Jan. 19 announcement that he is stepping sideways into the newly created executive chairmanship position, with former chief operating officer Greg Peters assuming the co-CEO position alongside co-CEO Ted Sarandos, had been in motion for about 10 years, Hastings said on the fiscal webcast.
Hastings hailed Netflix’s first 25+ years as “a good start” from DVD by-mail rental pioneer to streaming giant with more than 231 million global subscribers — and the only subscription streaming service generating a profit ($55 million in fiscal 2022).
“We dream of the whole world finding their entertainment on Netflix,” Hasting said. “And the three of us have been working together for 15 years trying to figure out how to get through this issue, that issue, and how to grow. I couldn’t be happier to complete our succession process.”
Hastings, who has had one foot out the senior management door since naming Sarandos his co-CEO in April 2020, said the succession process began about 10 years ago in discussions with the board.
When Sarandos was upped to co-CEO, Hastings cautioned that he would remain with the company he co-started in 1997 with Marc Randolph — Netflix’s first CEO — for at least another 10 years.
Hastings said Sarandos and Peters have been leading Netflix “more and more” and today’s announcement was a formal acknowledgment in how the company has been led over the past several quarters.
“It’s just a good feeling,” he said, adding that as executive chairman, he would be available to help Sarandos and Peters going forward. “But, it’s really theirs to lead and to use that energy and intensity that we have been doing.”
He said Peters and Sarandos are “ready” for the challenge, “so, I couldn’t be happier.”
Sarandos said Hastings would remain a role model, mentor and friend going forward.
“In 22+ years, Reed has positively changed my life in everyway manageable,” Sarandos said, adding that he is leaving “some big shoes for Greg and I to fill. Fortunately, we have four feet to do it with.”