Reed Hastings will be stepping down from his role as co-chief executive at Netflix, having helped found the company over 25 years ago. Hastings is departing the firm after the streaming service announced a dramatic increase in subscriber count towards the end of last year.
With a cost-of-living crisis in full swing, several experts had expected the public to cut back on luxuries like streaming services. However, Netflix surprised analysts by adding more than seven million subscribers to their ranks.
Netflix recently said in a statement, “2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish.” There were a number of draws to the service this year, helping the fortunes of the company, including the Harry & Meghan documentary, Wednesday and Glass Onion.
Hastings had planned to depart Netflix for some time but will be staying on in some capacity in an executive chairman role. Now, Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters will run the company. However, according to analysts, Netflix have a tricky road ahead.
“Reed Hastings stepping down from his current role raises a lot of questions about Netflix’s future strategy,” said Jamie Lumley, an analyst at research firm Third Bridge. “Incoming Co-CEO Greg Peters will have a number of major decisions on his plate from managing high levels of expenses, password sharing, and cracking the code to find the next Stranger Things.”
Simon Gallagher, former director of content acquisition, noted, “Reed Hastings has been there for 20 years, and I think he wanted to go out on top – this has been a successful quarter for them. But he will remain very engaged as executive chairman.” He added, “They’ve only started to crack down on password sharing in Latin America,” highlighting the kind of problems that Netflix have to deal with in order to keep its subscriber count high.