Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, is stepping down from the CEO post at the company he founded 25 years ago.
Ted Sarandos and current COO Greg Peters will lead the streaming video service as co-CEOs, Netflix announced.
Hastings said he plans to continue as executive chairman, a stepped-back role often taken by company founders as part of a succession plan.
The company was a pioneer in home entertainment. Its innovative DVD-by-mail service, followed by streaming video over the internet, contributed to the demise of physical movie rental stores while prompting studios and TV networks to launch their own similar services. While Netflix struggled with subscriber losses earlier this year, it now boasts 230 million subscribers, an increase of 7 million from three months ago.
Hastings’ departure is “a big psychological change for Netflix,” analysts at GlobalData said in a note.
“With Hastings remaining as Chairman, his expertise will still be available to the company. However, there is a small risk that the culture of the company could change and become more cautious, especially as economic uncertainty persists. This would be similar to the shifts that have occurred at Amazon since Jeff Bezos stepped down.”
Netflix stock jumped in after-hours trading, gaining 5%.
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