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Reed Hastings cites Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in decision to step down as Netflix CEO – GeekWire


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Reed Hastings is taking a page from Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates’ playbook in his decision to step down as CEO of Netflix.

Hastings, who co-founded Netflix in 1997, announced Thursday that he will no longer be co-CEO of the streaming giant, but is staying onboard as executive chairman at the streaming giant.

In a blog post, Hastings cited Bezos and Gates as other founders who also moved to the executive chairman role “after they pass the CEO baton to others.”

Bezos did so in 2021 when he passed the CEO duties off to former Amazon Web Services leader Andy Jassy, 27 years after he helped launch the Seattle-based company.

Gates, who co-founded MIcrosoft in 1975, stepped down as CEO in 2000 but remained chairman as Steve Ballmer took over.

Bezos is still chairman at Amazon, while Gates stepped down from that role in 2014, and left the board altogether in 2020.

Hastings, 62, became co-CEO with Ted Sarandos in 2020. Sarandos will continue leading Netflix alongside Greg Peters, who was promoted from COO to the co-CEO seat.

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

Netflix beat fourth quarter expectations Thursday for subscriber growth and its stock was up more than 5 percent in after-hours trading.


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