Netflix Promotes Sarandos to Co-CEO with Hastings

Ted Sarandos (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix said it promoted Ted Sarandos, who has spearheaded the streaming company's programming strategy, to co-CEO with Reed Hastings.

The announcement came as Netflix announced adding more than 10 million global subscribers over the three months ending June, while the world endured a global pandemic.

Related: Netflix Earnings Expected to Get Pandemic Boost

“Ted has been my partner for decades. This change makes formal what was already informal -- that Ted and I share the leadership of Netflix,” said Hastings.

“Having watched Reed and Ted work together for so long, the board and I are confident this is the right step to evolve Netflix’s management structure so that we can continue to best serve our members and shareholders for years to come,” added Netflix’s lead independent director Jay Hoag.

Sarandos, who will continue as chief content officer, was also added to the Netflix board.

In the quarter, paid streaming membership rose to 192.95 million from 151.56 million a year ago and 182.86 million in the first quarter.

Net income was $720 million, or $1.59 a share, up from $271 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago. 

Revenue rose 24.9% to $6.15 billion.

Netflix forecast that third quarter net income will grow to $954 million, or $2.09 a share on revenue of $6.33 million.

"As we indicated in our Q1’20 letter, we’re expecting paid net adds will be down year over year in the second half as our strong first half performance likely pulled forward some demand from the second half of the year," the company said in its shareholder letter. "In addition, Q3’19 included the positive impact of new seasons of both Stranger Things and La Casa de Papel (aka Money Heist). We continue to view the quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in paid net adds as not that meaningful in the context of the long run adoption of internet entertainment, which we believe provides us with many years of strong growth ahead."

The company said its main business priority is to restart production safely. It said it is furthest along in Asia-Pacific, where it never fully shut down. It is also back in production in some European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Italy and the U.K.

"Since our content production lead time is long, our 2020 plans for launching original shows and films continue to be largely intact. For 2021, based on our current plan, we expect the paused productions will lead to a more second half weighted content slate in terms of our big titles, although we anticipate the total number of originals for the full year will still be higher than 2020," the company said in its shareholder letter. "We’ll also round out our content offering with film acquisitions like The Trial of the Chicago 7 from Aaron Sorkin and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (global excluding U.S. and China). We also acquired nearly completed seasons of unreleased original series like Cobra Kai (seasons 1, 2 and a brand new season 3) and Emily in Paris starring Lily Collins."

Netflix noted that the pandemic and production issues were also impacting competitors and suppliers. "With our large library of thousands of titles and strong recommendations, we believe our member satisfaction will remain high," Netflix said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.