×
Back to IndieWire

Reed Hastings Steps Down as Netflix Co-CEO, Greg Peters Takes Over

Bela Bajaria and Scott Stuber have also been promoted to new positions at the streamer.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 30: Netflix founder and Co-CEO Reed Hastings speaks during the New York Times DealBook Summit in the Appel Room at the Jazz At Lincoln Center on November 30, 2022 in New York City. The New York Times held its first in-person DealBook Summit since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with speakers from the worlds of financial services, technology, consumer goods, private investment, venture capital, banking, media, public relations, policy, government, and academia.   (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Reed Hastings

Getty Images

Reed Hastings, the Netflix co-founder, has stepped down from his co-CEO role. He will be succeeded by Greg Peters, the former chief operating officer of Netflix, who will now share the top job with Ted Sarandos. Hastings will now serve as executive chairman.

Hastings shared the news via a letter published on the Netflix press site, concurrent with the streamer’s Q4 2022 earnings report. The letter also announced that current Netflix TV head Bela Bajaria has been promoted to chief content officer, which was Sarandos’ former title — and still his side gig — while head of original films Scott Stuber has been named chairman of Netflix Film.

Netflix’s fourth-quarter results were a mixed bag, but more positive than negative. The streamer added 7.66 million global paid subscribers during the quarter, blowing away its initial 4.5 million subscriber prediction. It also outperformed on revenue, the company’s new favorite statistic, but whiffed pretty badly on earnings. Investors were undeterred by that and shares of NFLX rose 6 percent after the market closed (and the Q4 results came out).

Hastings and the Netflix board have been planning his succession for years, the letter reads, and started with the promotions of Sarandos to co-CEO and Peters to COO in 2020. Hastings also wrote that since that time, Sarandos and Peters have largely taken the reins and managed the company.

“Our board has been discussing succession planning for many years (even founders need to evolve!). As part of that process, we promoted Ted to co-CEO alongside me in July 2020, and Greg to Chief Operating Officer – and in the last 2½ years I’ve increasingly delegated the management of Netflix to them,” Hastings’ letter reads. “It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business. But they’ve both managed incredibly well, ensuring Netflix continues to improve and developing a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue and earnings growth. So the board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession.”

Hastings said he would take time away from Netflix to focus on personal philanthropical efforts.

“We start 2023 with renewed momentum as a company and a clear path to reaccelerate our growth,” Sarandos wrote. “I’m thrilled about Ted and Greg’s leadership, and their ability to make the next 25 years even better than the first.”

Read Hastings’ full letter below.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos speaks during the Netflix Golden Globe and Critics Choice Nominee Toast at Catch LA on January 08, 2023 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos speaks during the Netflix Golden Globe and Critics Choice Nominee Toast, 2023

Getty Images for Netflix

I’m so proud of our first 25 years, and so excited about our next quarter of a century. We can do so much more to better entertain the world and deliver more joy to our members.

Our board has been discussing succession planning for many years (even founders need to evolve!). As part of that process, we promoted Ted to co-CEO alongside me in July 2020, and Greg to Chief Operating Officer – and in the last 2½ years I’ve increasingly delegated the management of Netflix to them.

It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business. But they’ve both managed incredibly well, ensuring Netflix continues to improve and developing a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue and earnings growth. So the board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession.

Starting today, Greg Peters will step up from COO to become Ted’s co-CEO. Going forward, I’ll be serving as Executive Chairman, a role that founders often take (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, etc.) after they pass the CEO baton to others. Ted, Greg and I have been working closely together in different capacities for 15 years. As is common in long, effective relationships, we’ve all learned how to bring out the best in each other. I look forward to working with them in this role for many years to come.

Ted and Greg have developed great trust and respect for each other through their collective successes and failures. In addition, they can always be relied upon to put Netflix’s interests first. These qualities — combined with their complementary skill sets, deep knowledge of entertainment and technology, and proven track record at Netflix — create a unique opportunity to deliver faster growth and greater success long term with them as co-CEOs.

Looking back, Ted had the early foresight and skill to push into original programming, changing our trajectory as a company. He then moved quickly to expand into international originals, film, animation, and unscripted — bets that have helped broaden our content slate and which took courage given all the skepticism. Greg has been instrumental in driving our partnerships, building and launching advertising, pushing us into deeper personalization, rebuilding our talent organization and helping to strengthen our culture. He also spent several years in Japan, launching our early efforts in Japanese originals as the country’s general manager, and is currently building out our games initiative.

For myself, I’ll be helping Greg and Ted, and, like any good Chairman, be a bridge from the board to our co-CEOs. I’ll also be spending more time on philanthropy, and remain very focused on Netflix stock doing well.

Also, today, we have made Bela Bajaria Chief Content Officer and Scott Stuber Chairman of Netflix Film. It’s been amazing to see the enormous strides we’ve made across TV and film under their leadership.

We start 2023 with renewed momentum as a company and a clear path to reaccelerate our growth. I’m thrilled about Ted and Greg’s leadership, and their ability to make the next 25 years even better than the first.

Here’s to the next chapter of Netflix and our leadership.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,


Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox