Anne Sweeney, Microsoft’s Brad Smith Join Netflix Board

Netflix said Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television at the Walt Disney Co., and Brad Smith, executive VP and general counsel at Microsoft, have joined its board.

The additions bring the total number of Netflix directors to nine. The subscription VOD leader said Sweeney and Smith will expand “the breadth of its global and entertainment experience.”

“We look forward to benefiting from Brad’s and Anne’s perspective as we continue to build our global Internet TV network,” Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said in announcing the appointments.

Sweeney worked for more than 30 years at Disney, 21st Century Fox and Viacom. She had overseen Disney’s cable, broadcast and satellite properties worldwide since 2004 before leaving the post in January 2015. Previously, she was chair and CEO of FX Networks, and spent more than 12 years at Viacom’s Nickelodeon network.

Smith, who has served as Microsoft’s general counsel since 2002, first joined the software company in 1993.

Netflix’s seven other existing directors are Hastings, who is chairman of the board; Richard Barton, exec chairman and co-founder of Zillow; A. George (“Skip”) Battle, an independent investor who was previously CEO of Ask Jeeves; Timothy Haley, managing director of venture-capital firm Redpoint Ventures; Jay Hoag, general partner of VC firm Technology Crossover Ventures; Leslie Kilgore, previously Netflix’s chief marketing officer from 2000-12; and Ann Mather, former CFO of Pixar Studios.

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