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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ New Book Title, Release Date Announced

Reed Hastings promises to share the untold story about how Netflix’s culture helped it pivot from a DVD-by-mail company to a streaming giant more than a decade ago in a new book due out this spring.

“No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” is set to be released May 12, 2020. The 320-page book is being published by Penguin Press and was originally targeted for 2019 release. [UPDATE, 3/26: Penguin said it has postponed the book’s release until sometime later in 2020.] Hastings, Netflix’s chairman, CEO and co-founder, co-wrote the book with business professor Erin Meyer, bestselling author of “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business.”

In “No Rules Rules,” Hastings describes his philosophy and management principles of rejecting conventional wisdom — fostering a corporate culture in which “adequate performance gets a generous severance and hard work is irrelevant,” per Penguin Press’s description. Netflix’s famously unsentimental approach to firing employees deemed underperformers has generated controversy and complaints from some ex-staffers.

The book draws on hundreds of interviews with current Netflix employees, and includes “never-before-told stories of trial and error” from Hastings’ career, according to the publisher.

Hastings’ book tries to make the case that Netflix’s employment practices have afforded it “flexibility, speed, and boldness.” What’s indisputable is that the company has seen phenomenal growth to become the leading global streaming entertainment service, with 167 million subscribers in 190 countries as of the end of 2019.

Hastings has a current net worth of $4.9 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, most of which is based on his Netflix stock holdings. He co-founded Netflix in 1997 and led the company’s initial public offering in 2002.

Hastings announced the book’s title and release date on social media Wednesday. The hardcover and audiobook versions of “No Rules Rules” carry a list price of $28; e-book versions list at $14.99.

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