Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings steps down as CEO, streaming service adds over 7 million subscribers in Q4 2022
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down as chief executive, leaving the reins of the streaming service to his longtime partner and co-CEO Ted Sarandos and the director of the company operations, Greg Peters.
Sarandos and Peters will share the title of managing directors, with Hastings serving as executive chairman. The change is effective immediately, representing the culmination of a decade of succession planning by the board. Peters and Sarandos were both promoted in July 2020, in a difficult time for the company.
“It was a baptism of fire, considering Covid and recent challenges within our business,” Hastings wrote in a blog post announcing his departure. “But they’ve both done incredibly well… so the board and I think it’s a good time to compete for my succession.”
Hastings exits on a high note. Netflix said it added 7.66 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, beating Wall Street’s forecast of 4.57 million with the help of ‘Harry & Meghan’ and ‘Wednesday’ in the battle to attract streaming viewers .
The streaming video pioneer has been under pressure from restrained consumer spending and competition from Walt Disney, Amazon.com and others spending billions of dollars to create TV shows and movies for audiences in line.
Netflix lost customers in the first half of 2022. It returned to growth in the second half, but new customer additions remain below the pace of recent years.
To spur growth, Netflix introduced a cheaper, ad-supported option last November in 12 countries. He also announced his intention to crack down on password sharing.
The company’s global subscriber base reached 231 million at the end of December.
Audiences flocked to the Addams Family tale “Wednesday,” the third-most-watched show in Netflix history, the company said. Murder mystery “Glass Onion” and British Royal Family documentary “Harry & Meghan” were also hits in the quarter.
Net profit fell to $55 million (about 446 crore rupees) or 12 cents per share from $607 million (about 4,932 crore rupees) or $1.33 per share (about 100 rupees) a year earlier. Revenue rose 1.9% to $7.85 billion (about Rs. 63,778 crore), in line with expectations.
Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global television, has been named chief content officer.