Netflix founder Reed Hastings out as CEO

Netflix founder Reed Hastings is stepping down as the streaming platform’s CEO.

The 62-year-old chief said in a Thursday statement he’ll continue to serve as the company’s executive chairman while leaving his old job to be split between Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and former Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters.

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

Stating “even founders need to evolve,” the former CEO said the company’s board spent “many years” discussing succession plans. Sarandos began sharing CEO duties with Hastings — a former video store clerk — in July 2020.

Hastings added he’s “increasingly delegated” responsibilities to his successors since the middle of 2020.

Netflix was founded in Scotts Valley, Calif., in 1997 by Hastings and the company’s first CEO, Marc Randolph, who handed over the reins in 1999 and left altogether in 2003. The movie rental company began streaming content in 2007 and boasted nearly 223 million subscribers worldwide by 2022, though recent years have brought challenges.

“It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business,” Hastings said.

Forbes puts his worth at $4.3 billion. He reportedly owns about 2% of Netflix, which saw a rise in 7.9% rise in after-hours trading Thursday.

Reuters reports the company’s stock dropped almost 38% last year. But Netflix surpassed expectation by adding more than 7.6 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2022.

“The board and I believe it’s the right time to compete my succession,” Hastings said.