Netflix Grants CEO Reed Hastings $28.7 Million in Stock Options for 2018

Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chairman and CEO, is set to receive $28.7 million in company stock options for 2018 in addition to an annual salary of $700,000.

That’s a bump up from the $21 million in stock options the Netflix chief received in 2017, while his base salary will decline from $850,000 this year, according to company filings with the SEC.

In 2016, Hastings’ total compensation package rose 39%, to $23.2 million, after an increase in stock option awards valued at $22.3 million. Hastings has a net worth estimated at $2.2 billion, mostly tied to Netflix stock, and was added for the first time to the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans this year.

Netflix also disclosed salary and stock-option awards for other top execs in an 8-K filing Thursday. The company said it is eliminating performance bonuses — instead, delivering all cash compensation as salary — citing the recently passed GOP federal tax-reform law, under which corporate bonuses are subject to a charge.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos will have a $12 million annual salary — up dramatically from $1 million in 2017 — and will receive $14.25 million in stock options in 2018 (versus $11 million this year).

CFO David Wells will have a base salary of $2.8 million and $2.45 million in stock options; Greg Peters, chief product officer, will have a $6 million salary and $6.6 million in stock options; and general counsel David Hyman’s 2018 pay package will include $2.5 million in salary and $3.275 million in stock awards.

The exec-pay details for 2018 that Netflix released aren’t reflective of total pay, because they don’t include other compensation.

Netflix shares are up 47% in 2017 to date (and closed up 3.5% on Thursday). Investors have remained bullish on the company’s growth trajectory and expansion strategy, which has involved Netflix raising billions in debt financing to fund original content.

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