Reed Hastings leaving MSFT board, but staying on FB

Faith Merino · October 10, 2012 · Short URL:

Ubiquitous Hastings is reducing number of boards to focus on Netflix

Have you ever noticed that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is like, everywhere?  It seems like at least once a week, I run across a company that Reed Hastings is or was involved with in some way, whether it was as a director, advisor, chairman, founder, investor, or whathaveyou.  He currently serves on the boards of Netflix, Facebook, and Microsoft, but Microsoft announced Tuesday evening that Hastings will not be seeking reelection to the board.

It’s pretty amazing that Hastings has been able to be involved with so many companies while running his own—except for the fact that Netflix has been struggling to regain its footings as one of the hottest companies in the world, and its stock has tanked 78% from a high of $295 in July 2011 to $65 today.  You’d think Reed Hastings’ energies would be better spent getting his own company back up-to-snuff, but evidently, he will remain on Facebook’s board, according to Business Insider.

Hastings joined Facebook’s board in June 2011, one month before the infamous price-hike scandal.  Facebook’s other board members include CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Marc Andreessen, and Peter Thiel, among others.

Hastings joined Microsoft’s board in March 2007 and explained in a statement that he’s reducing the number of boards on which he serves so that he can focus more on Netflix and his education work.  He also serves on the boards of edtech company DreamBox Learning, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and the California Charter Schools Association.  Additionally, he previously served as the President of the California State Board of Education from 2001 to 2005.

But that’s not all, folks… Hastings is also a co-founder of, an advisor at Foundation Capital, an investment partner at NewSchools venture Fund, and he’s an advisor at thredUP.  That’s a lot of companies to be advising/directing when your own is still regaining its sea legs. 

Following the turbulent summer of 2011, which will forever be known as the Summer of Netflix Horror (price hike, bizarre decision to spin off DVD business, then bizarrely sudden decision to nix DVD spinoff), Netflix’s market cap shriveled to a fraction of its former size and subscribers bailed by the hundreds of thousands.  Remarkably, the company seemed to be getting back on track by the fourth quarter, reporting higher-than-expected revenues.  But in July, Netflix stocked tanked (again) by 25% after reporting flat profits and fewer than anticipated subscribers. 

But as Reed Hastings pointed out last year in Netflix’s Q4 earnings call, the company expects to lose DVD subscribers every quarter—forever. 

"Reed has been a terrific board member, and his insights and experience have really helped guide us through a critical period of transformation for both Microsoft and the industry," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in a statement.


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