'Stepping down but not moving away': Netflix's Reed Hastings opens up why he decided to step down as the founder!

(This article is authored by Alar) 

After more than two decades at the helm, Netflix Inc. co-founder Reed Hastings is inching down as CEO in favour of Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters, two of his longtime associates."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," Hastings said in a blog post.

It has been announced that Hastings will take on the role of executive chairman, while Sarandos and Peters will share the role of chief executive officer. It was during this tough time for the company that Peters and Sarandos were promoted in July of 2020. Peters, who was previously chief operating officer, has overseen the company's product development and push into advertising, while Sarandos, who was already co-CEO, is the public face of the company in Hollywood.

"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 said in an statement. In the late 1990s, Mr. Hastings (62) succeeded his friend and fellow company co-founder Marc Randolph as CEO of Netflix. He built a streaming empire that initially started as mail-order DVDs before switching to streaming in 2007.

Notably, Netflix saw a decline in user numbers in the first half of 2022. The second half saw a return to growth, but the rate of new customer additions is still below that of recent years. Last November, Netflix launched a less expensive, ad-supported option in 12 countries to jumpstart growth. Additionally, it has made plans to crack down on password sharing. Netflix expressed satisfaction with its development and claimed that the advertising tier has drawn in new, price-conscious customers. Instead of customers downgrading from a more expensive plan, the majority of those choosing the advertising tier are brand-new customers, the company felt.

"2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish. We believe we have a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue growth," Netflix said in its quarterly letter to shareholders. Hastings made his exit as Netflix said it added 7.66 million subscribers in the fourth quarter. "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" the statement ended.