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Netflix founder Reed Hastings steps down as co-CEO • TechCrunch

Netflix founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings announced Thursday that he would be stepping down after more than two decades with the company.

While news of his departure comes as a shock, Hastings noted that Netflix has planned its next era of leadership “for many years” in the future. Announcement, which was shared on the company’s blog.

In 2020, Netflix named Ted Sarandos, who has long led content efforts at the company, as co-CEO alongside Hastings. At the time, Netflix characterized the change as formalizing the way the company already operated.

Netflix will retain the co-CEO structure during Hasting’s absence and promote COO Greg Peters to the tandem role with Sarandos.

“It was a baptism of fire given COVID and the recent challenges within our business,” Hastings said of Sarandos and Peters taking the reins.

“But they’ve both succeeded incredibly well, with Netflix continuing to improve and developing a clear path to re-accelerating our revenue and profit growth. So the board and I believe that now is the right time to complete my succession.”

Hastings remains involved with the company as executive chairman of the board, following a precedent shared by other prominent founders of major tech companies, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

The news comes shortly before Netflix will report its fourth-quarter results on Thursday after market close. The company introduced an ad-supported subscription tier in November, and Thursday’s report will provide its first glimpse into how that new product could change the company’s fortunes now that streaming’s early pandemic heyday is over.

At CES earlier this month, a Netflix advertising executive noted how many advertisers the company has already attracted, describing that as a boon for consumers eager to offset their monthly costs with a Hulu-esque ad-supported subscription.

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