Netflix CEO rewards self for turbulent year


In an SEC filing today, Netflix revealed that its CEO, Reed Hastings, had his salary cut from $519,231 in 2010 to a paltry half-million in 2011. If, like me, you find yourself instantly overcome with empathetic sorrow and are desperately searching for an address to which to send a charitable donation, don’t worry. His stock options rose to $8.8m, marking a 68% increase in total compensation for the year.

Of course, this is America and brilliant marketing strategy like Hastings’ should be rewarded. It was under his bold leadership that Netflix raised the price of its basic subscription by nearly half and forced a contingent of customers to choose between rental and streaming in doing so. This led to a public apology from Hastings in which he also announced the site would split into two: Netflix for streaming and Qwikster, for DVD and videogame rentals. One month later, Qwikster was quietly canceled and game rentals were axed.

The apology was accompanied by a mea culpa video of Hastings and Chief Service and Operations Officer Andy Rendich, prostrating themselves to consumers from a sunny vista reminiscent of the flashback episode of Breaking Bad which had aired a couple of weeks prior, in which a younger Gus saw his close friend shot in the head by members of a Mexican cartel to punish him for his impertinence.

And to think, amid all that, they even found the time to lose the rights to stream Starz titles.

We’ve attempted to reach Hastings for comment, but I don’t think he heard me shouting at him from the ground as he sailed by in his golden parachute.

[via Deadline]