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Management Changes at Netflix and What They Mean

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Aug. 31 2018, Published 3:44 p.m. ET

Netflix hired Whetstone from Facebook

Netflix (NFLX) has recently appointed Rachel Whetstone of Facebook (FB) as its new chief communications officer. Whetstone is replacing Jonathan Friedland, who was removed from his position in June for making racially insensitive comments to his team in a meeting. Before serving as vice president of communications for Facebook’s WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, Whetstone had policy roles with Uber and Google.

In mid-August, Netflix’s CFO David Wells stepped down from his position to focus on philanthropy.

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Netflix focusing on films and shows

Netflix has been focusing on investing in original content. It’s been pouring money into premium programming, including original movies and TV shows, as it strives to become the world’s top movie and TV streaming service.

In 2017, Netflix spent ~$6.3 billion on original programming and plans to spend ~$8 billion on content in 2018. According to data from MoffettNathanson, Amazon (AMZN) spent $4.5 billion on original and acquired content in 2017, while Hulu invested $2.5 billion on content in 2017. Apple and Facebook also allocated ~$1 billion each last year to acquire new content.

Hiring for films and shows

Netflix has recently appointed American television producer and writer Kenya Barris and other hit directors such as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy as the streaming giant consistently expands and diversifies its original content. The content king is also looking to appoint production executive Tendo Nagenda from The Walt Disney Company (DIS) to work under Scott Stuber, the former vice chairman of worldwide production at Universal.

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