Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Pay Jumps 50% in 2015, to $16.6 Million

Content chief Ted Sarandos received $14 million in compensation last year, up 59% from 2014

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Pay Jumps
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Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings garnered a 2015 compensation package worth $16.6 million, an increase of 50% from the year prior, with most of it coming in the form of stock options.

“Hastings deeply understands the technology and business of Netflix,” the company said in its proxy statement, filed Wednesday. “He brings strategic and operational insight to the board. Mr. Hastings is also a software engineer and has unique management and industry insights.”

Hastings, who co-founded Netflix in 1997, actually saw his base salary decrease last year to $1.1 million (compared with $3 million in 2014). The exec was granted stock options worth $15.5 million in 2015, versus $8.1 million a year earlier.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, also saw a significant pay bump: His comp last year was $14.0 million — which included a $2 million performance bonus — up 59% from $8.8 million in 2014.

Among other senior Netflix execs, chief product officer Neil Hunt earned $8.4 million (including a $5 million performance bonus), up 30%; international development officer Greg Peters earned $5.6 million, up 54%; and CFO David Wells took home $4.2 million, a 71% increase from 2014.

Netflix’s stock rose 129% over the course of 2015, as the No. 1 subscription-video service bumped up its worldwide streaming subscriber count from 57.4 million to 74.8 million. But shares are down 17% since the start of 2016, with investors concerned about Netflix’s growth slowing.