LOS GATOS, California — Netflix Inc., announced the elevation of Ted Sarandos, to the role of co-CEO, putting him in position to eventually succeed Netflix Chairman and Chief Executive Reed Hastings, 59.
“This change makes formal what was already informal—that Ted and I share the leadership of Netflix,” Mr. Hastings said in a letter to shareholders.
Jay Hoag, the lead independent director of Netflix, said: “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.”
In a blog post to staff announcing the move, Mr. Hastings wrote: “Ted drove the revolution in our content strategy, which was way ahead of its time and has been key to our continued success. It was typical of his ability to see where the industry—and consumer tastes—are headed.”
Netflix has gained more than 26 million subscribers in the last two quarters. The 10.1 million net new subscribers it reported Thursday surpassed the 7.5 million Netflix had projected for the second quarter earlier this year.
The appointment of Mr. Sarandos is indicative of the integral role he has played in Netflix’s meteoric growth over the last decade. As chief content officer, he has been the architect of the streaming service’s hugely successful original-programming strategy. Not only has Netflix become the most prolific producer of content, it is also a regular contender for Academy and Emmy awards.
Mr. Sarandos has also been elected to the board of directors and will continue to serve as chief content officer. Meanwhile, Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer, is adding the role of chief operating officer to his responsibilities. “We want Greg to help us stay aligned and effective as we grow so quickly around the world,” Mr. Hastings said in the letter.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it ended the second quarter with a total of more than 192.9 million paying subscribers, up from 182.9 million as of the first quarter and 151.6 million a year earlier.