At this point in the game, Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings puts little effort into hiding his disdain for Comcast, the largest cable operator and Internet service provider in the U.S. He's complained about Comcast before and the favoritism the ISP gives its own Xfinity Streampix service over Netflix, and he decided to dole out a mini rant over the weekend using Facebook as his soapbox.
It's no secret Netflix would like to see its DVD-by-mail business go the way of the Dodo so it can focus its attention entirely on the streaming scene, and with streaming subscribers almost twice as profitable as DVD customers, who can blame 'em? Company CEO Reed Hastings jumped the gun when he attempted to put Netflix's DVD business out to pasture by spinning it off into a separate company (Qwikster), a move that sparked an intense backlash from its customers, but if he's patient, it will die off all on its own, and in fact that's exactly what he anticipates will happen.
Reed Hastings and everyone else behind the trenches at Netflix would probably like a do-over for all of 2011. They're not getting one, and for Hastings, the company's CEO, he's not getting the full amount of his stock option award next year, either. Instead, he'll receive exactly half of what he would have been entitled to had things not gone so wrong for Netflix in recent months, but don't feel too bad for Hastings.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told attendees at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York that streaming video will grow to replace cable as the viewing option of choice within 3-5 years. In reality, streaming video could leapfrog ahead of cable even sooner than that, but as Netflix gets ready to renew contracts with Hollywood studios, he might want to keep his cards closer to his chest.
With all that's been going on with Netflix lately, some people think Reed Hastings has lost his marbles. Others think the CEO lost his soul and/or question if he ever had one to begin with. That's because there's a lot of anger out there over Netflix's recent price hike followed by the semi-sudden separation of its DVD-by-mail rental business into Qwikster, a completely new company that frees Netflix to concentrate solely on streaming. As a result, Netflix is losing customers and investor support, but the company head hasn't lost his sense of humor.
Facebook on Thursday announced that Reed Hastings, chairman and chief executive officer of Netflix, has joined the world's most popular networking site's board of directors. Like a full-on double complete rainbow, this move has people wondering what it could mean, minus the viral video and happy tears.