Ted Sarandos has been promoted to co-CEO of Netflix alongside Reed Hastings, Hastings said Thursday. Sarandos also has been elected to the company’s board of directors. He will also continue to serve as chief content officer.
“Ted’s been instrumental to our success as a company,” said Hastings in a company blog. “While I saw streaming coming and pushed for it, Ted drove the revolution in our content strategy, which was way ahead of its time and has been key to our continued success. It was typical of his ability to see where the industry - and consumer tastes - are headed. He’s built an extraordinary team, attracting some of the most creative and best entertainment executives from all around the world.”
“I’m excited and honored to have been appointed co-CEO of Netflix,” Sarandos wrote also on the company blog. “When Reed and I first met over 20 years ago, he described Netflix almost exactly as it now works. But at the time, I was skeptical. The Internet was still new and Netflix’s main competitor, Blockbuster, was huge and had completely disrupted the business model of my previous company. Part of Reed’s brilliance is his persistence and so I eventually said yes, back in 1999.
The promotions shouldn’t change much in the way Netflix is operated on a daily basis, Hastings said.
“…[T]hink of Ted’s well deserved promotion formalizing how we already run the business today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Greg Peters becomes the company’s next chief operating officer, while remaining chief product officer.
“Greg’s appointment as chief operating officer reflects the strategic and analytical strengths he’s brought to our product team over the past 10 years,” Hastings said. “As we’ve grown, one of my biggest roles at Netflix has been to be broad across the company, getting to know many different people in every area of our business. This has helped Netflix stay mostly aligned, loosely coupled and very productive. In his new role, I want Greg to take on more of this work so that we continue to improve rapidly. Eventually he needs to know every corner of Netflix better than I do today.”
Both moves are part of Netflix’s long-term succession planning, Hastings said.
“While transitions can be hard, I am optimistic because we have a well-established culture that’s built to be flexible and many years to get good at this,” Hastings said.
Netflix also reported that it had added 10.1 million net new streaming subscribers in the second quarter, setting a new subscriber acquisition record for the company. Of that number, nearly 3 million come from U.S. and Canada; 2.75 million from Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); 1.75 million from Latin America; and 2.66 million from Asia Pacific.
Still, the share price—which recently hit a record high of nearly $560 per share—fell 11% as a result of a lighter-than-expected third-quarter subscriber forecast and an earnings miss.
Netflix also has slowed spending on content due to production stalls caused by the pandemic, which resulted in lower content and marketing spends.