Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings will step down as CEO of the company he founded 25 years ago. Netflix announced that Ted Sarandos and current COO Greg Peters will lead the streaming video service as co-CEOs.
Hastings said he plans to stay on as executive chairman, a step-back role often taken by company founders as part of succession planning. The company is a pioneer in home entertainment.
Its innovative DVD-by-mail service, followed by streaming video on the Internet, helped to displace physical movie rental stores, prompting studios and TV networks to launch similar services of their own.
While Netflix struggled with subscriber losses earlier this year, it now has 230 million subscribers, an increase of 7 million from three months ago. GlobalData analysts said in a note that Hastings’ departure is a “major psychological shift for Netflix.”
“With Hastings remaining chairman, his expertise will still be available to the company. However, there is a risk that the company’s culture may change and become more cautious, especially as economic uncertainty continues.
It’s the same with shifts. It’s happened at Amazon since Jeff Bezos stepped down.” Netflix stock gained 5% in after-hours trading.