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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Joins Forbes List of Richest Americans

Reed Hastings, with a current net worth of about $2.3 billion, has been named to the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans for the first time.

Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix, co-founded the company in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail provider. His fortune is tied to Netflix stock, which has exploded over the past year as the company continues to its global expansion. Shares of Netflix have more than doubled since September 2016.

To make the Forbes 400 list this year, individuals needed a net worth of $2 billion or more — up $300 million from $1.7 billion in 2016. Hastings debuted at No. 359 on the 2017 ranking, which was published Tuesday.

Netflix on Monday reported another solid quarter: It beat forecasts for subscriber growth with 5.3 million net adds — its biggest Q3 gain to date — to stand at more than 109 million streaming subscribers worldwide. The company expects to release about 80 original films next year (up from around 50 this year) and is still spending like crazy, projecting content expenditures to be up to $8 billion in 2018 (versus $6 billion this year).

Hastings is among 22 newbies on the Forbes 400 this year. Others include Rocco Commisso, founder of Mediacom Communications (with a net worth estimated at $4.5 billion); the four daughters of the late Forrest Mars Jr., co-owner of candy giant Mars Inc. ($6.3 billion each); and Jane Lauder, granddaughter of cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder ($2 billion).

The top 10 wealthiest U.S. individuals, per Forbes’ estimates as of Tuesday, are Bill Gates (net worth: $86 billion); Warren Buffett ($75.6 billion); Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos ($72.8 billion); Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($56 billion); Larry Ellison ($52.2 billion); Charles and David Koch ($48.3 billion each); Michael Bloomberg ($47.5 billion); and Google co-founders Larry Page ($40.7 billion) and Sergey Brin ($39.8 billion).

In media and entertainment, billionaires on the Forbes 400 list this year include: Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen ($15.8 billion); Advance Publications’ Donald Newhouse ($12.3 billion); Rupert Murdoch ($12 billion); Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy ($12 billion); John Malone ($8.2 billion); David Geffen ($7.8 billion); Sumner Redstone ($5.1 billion); Charles Dolan ($5 billion); George Lucas ($5 billion); Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment ($3.9 billion); Steven Spielberg ($3.6 billion); and Mark Cuban ($3.3 billion).

Donald Trump, meanwhile, saw his net worth drop to $3.1 billion, down $600 million vs. 2016, according to Forbes — dropping him from No. 156 last year to 248th place on the Forbes 400 for 2017. Per Forbes, Trump’s net worth declined because of “a tough New York real estate market,” along with $66 million he spent on his U.S. presidential campaign and the tycoon’s $25 million payment to settle fraud litigation over Trump University.

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