×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.”

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.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Fire TV News

    Amazon Launches Ad-Supported News Video App

    Amazon officially announced its long-rumored ad-supported news video service Tuesday. The new service will be available on Fire TV devices as well as Fire tablets, and rely on videos from publishers including CBS News, Reuters, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, People, Cheddar and others. News coverage served up through the app includes live streams as well as [...]

  • Marvel-SiriusXM-podcasts

    Marvel Creating 'Substantial' Number of Exclusive Podcasts for SiriusXM

    Marvel’s Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Star-Lord — and potentially more characters down the road — are getting their own podcasts on SiriusXM and Pandora. SiriusXM and Marvel Entertainment announced a multiyear pact under which Marvel will create a “substantial amount” of exclusive podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora, including both scripted and unscripted series and [...]

  • Polygon

    Quibi Orders Daily Gaming-News Series From Vox Media’s Polygon

    Quibi latest idea about “essential” daily programming? A hopped-up, rapid-fire dispatch about video games and gamer culture. The mobile subscription-video startup, led by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, ordered a daily culture and gaming news show from Vox Media’s Polygon. The yet-to-be-titled series will span headlines, trend deep-dives, first-look previews of new game [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Stock Falls After Verizon Announces Disney Plus One-Year Giveaway

    Netflix investors, already skittish about the looming entry of Disney and Apple into the competitive streaming space, pushed the stock down as much as 4% in morning trading Tuesday. The drop came after Verizon announced a deal with Disney to offer Disney Plus for 12 months free to all unlimited wireless customers and new Fios [...]

  • Markus Stoll (Harry G), Lisa Bitter,

    Amazon Greenlights German Series Starring Comedian Markus Stoll

    Amazon Studios has greenlit a German comedy series titled “The Bedfellow” (“Der Beischläfer”) starring comedian Markus Stoll, who is popular locally for playing a funny guy named “Harry G” who satirizes life in his native Bavaria. Shooting has started in Munich on the six-part series, which is directed by  Anna-Katharina Maier (“Die Klempnerin”) and  produced [...]

  • Disney-Plus-mobile-app

    Verizon Will Give One Year of Disney Plus for Free to All Unlimited Wireless Customers

    Verizon is giving away Disney Plus — the Mouse House’s new streaming service debuting next month — free for one year to all of its wireless customers on unlimited-data plans, under a broad new partnership between the two companies. When Disney Plus launches Nov. 12, the telco will begin offering 12 months of the video-streaming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content