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NetflixChief Marketing Officer Steps Down

Following widespread consumer complaints about a price hike last year that hurt subscriber counts, Netflix’s chief marketing officer Leslie Kilgore has stepped down and the company is starting a search for a new marketing head.

The company did not provide a reason for her departure but noted in a release that Kilgore will join the company’s board as a nonexecutive director and that it had appointed Jessie Becker, interim chief marketing officer.

The company also named Jonathan Friedland chief communications officer.

 “Leslie has been instrumental in our long-term success and our recent return to solid growth,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO in a statement announcing the management change. “We are delighted she is joining our board of directors and will continue to be a key part of Netflix.”

Kilgore joined Netflix in 2000 as CMO after holding various positions at, Procter & Gamble and Booz Allen and Hamilton. Kilgore, who has an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business, also serves as a director at LinkedIn Corporation.

An 11-year Netflix veteran, the interim CMO Becker has most recently been VP of marketing in charge of a variety of acquisition channels.  Previously, she held positions at and Oracle Corp.

Friedland joined Netflix in February 2011 from The Walt Disney Company, where he was senior VP, corporate communications. Before that, he spent over 20 years as a foreign correspondent and editor, mainly with The Wall Street Journal, in the U.S., Asia and Latin America and cofounded the Diarios Rumbo chain of Spanish-language newspapers in Texas.

Friedland was a member of the WSJ team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 9/11 attacks.

Becker and Friedland will report to Hastings.