Current marketing chief retiring
The search is on for a new marketing chief at Netflix (NFLX), as the company’s current chief marketing officer, Kelly Bennett, who has been with the company since 2012, is retiring this year. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave a glowing tribute to Bennett, saying he has been a great inspiration to the company. Bennett joined Netflix when the company only had 26 million paying subscribers and is set to leave when paying subscribers are approaching 150 million. Netflix closed the first quarter with 148.9 million paying subscribers.
Bennett is expected to stay on until Netflix finds his replacement. Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, is leading the search for the new chief marketing officer who will take over Bennett’s position. In the meantime, Sarandos is overseeing both content and marketing departments.
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Competitors circle Netflix as race heats up
Netflix is looking for a new chief marketing officer at a time when it is set to run into more competition as Apple and Walt Disney (DIS) gear up to launch their subscription video services in the coming months. Dish Network (DISH) in February launched a promotional offer that allows people to sign up for its Sling TV service at a steep discount with hopes that it will take customers from rivals such as Netflix.
AT&T (T) is not done challenging Netflix. The company is preparing to launch another video service through its WarnerMedia division to add to its existing streaming video brands DirecTV Now and WatchTV. Comcast (CMCSA) is also planning to launch its own streaming video service next year, which will see it pile more competitive pressure on Netflix.
Netflix spent $616.6 million on marketing in the first quarter of 2019, up from $536.8 million a year ago.