×

Netflix Adds Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner to Board

Netflix, in a move to bring more international representation to its board, named Axel Spring chairman and CEO Mathias Döpfner as a director.

Döpfner’s appointment brings the number of Netflix directors to 12. His addition to the board comes after Netflix named Rodolphe Belmer, former CEO of Canal Plus Group, as a director in January, followed by former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice in March.

Axel Springer, based in Berlin, Germany, is a top European publisher and digital media company, with brands including Bild, Die Welt, Business Insider, and Politico Europe. Döpfner has served as CEO of the company since 2002.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mathias to the Netflix board,” Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chairman, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “His leadership at the vanguard of both European business and digital media brings us invaluable perspective and insight as we work to build and constantly improve our business all over the world.”

Döpfner said Netflix “has created a world-leading entertainment service that continues to break new ground for the benefit of creators and consumers.” He praised the company’s “radically innovative culture and governance.”

Popular on Variety

Döpfner has been at Axel Springer since 1998, initially as editor-in-chief of Die Welt. He was named CEO of Axel Springer in 2002, focusing on transforming the print-centric company into digital businesses. Döpfner also is a member of the board of Warner Music Group and a former director of Time Warner Inc.

The current Netflix board of directors comprises: Reed Hastings; Mathias Döpfner; Rodolphe Belmer; Susan Rice; Anne Sweeney, former president of Disney-ABC Television Group; Richard Barton, executive chairman of Zillow Group and founder of Expedia; A. George (Skip) Battle, former executive chairman of Ask Jeeves and executive at Andersen Consulting; Timothy Haley, managing director at Redpoint Ventures; Jay Hoag, general partner at Technology Crossover Ventures; Leslie Kilgore, former Netflix chief marketing officer; Ann Mather, ex-CFO of Pixar and Village Roadshow Pictures and a former Disney exec; and Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

Some Netflix investors aren’t happy with the company’s governance practices and have complained that the board isn’t responsive to their concerns. At the company’s annual stockholders meeting in June, a majority of shares cast by Netflix investors were in favor of changing the bylaws to elect directors by a simple majority — but the measure failed, because it did not meet Netflix’s supermajority voting requirement.

More Digital

  • Aaron Pedersen (as Jay) & Jada

    Screen Australia Leads Call for Evolution of Industry Funding

    Screen Australia, the country’s federal support body, says the screen entertainment industry needs to come up with new business models in response to changes in audience behavior and the disruptive impact on content financing that has come from streaming. Public support bodies must change their relationships with the industry too, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason [...]

  • A-ha!

    'A-ha: The Movie' on 'Take on Me' Band to Receive Worldwide Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    A feature documentary on Norwegian “Take On Me” singers A-ha will receive a worldwide release this November. “A-ha: The Movie,” distributed internationally by Esther van Messel’s First Hand Films, will be broadcast in theaters around the world on Nov. 26, with Germany’s Salzgeber releasing the film locally and First Hand Films handling the release in [...]

  • Vudu

    NBCUniversal in Talks to Buy Walmart's Vudu

    Comcast’s NBCUniversal is looking to add some Vudu into its streaming-video mix. The media conglomerate is in talks to buy Vudu, the Walmart-owned entertainment rental, download and free-streaming service, sources confirm to Variety. It’s unclear what the terms of the pact would be or the timing. News of NBCU’s interest in Vudu was first reported [...]

  • Tubi

    Fox in Talks to Acquire Free-Streaming Service Tubi for Over $500 Million (Report)

    Fox Corp. is in discussions about acquiring Tubi, the ad-supported free streaming service, in a deal worth more than $500 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing anonymous sources. With Tubi, Rupert Murdoch’s TV broadcasting and cable company would be adding a dedicated streaming component — offering over 20,000 older TV shows and [...]

  • Zombies 2 Disney Channel

    How Disney Channel's 'Zombies 2' Production Team Made Monsters Kid-Friendly

    Traditionally spooky creatures like zombies and werewolves get the Disney treatment in “Zombies 2,” the follow-up to the 2018 hit TV-movie musical of the same name. While the undead have now assimilated into the community of Seabrook, they’re confronted by a new set of outsiders: werewolves. Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly return as Zed and [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content