Activision Blizzard CFO Hired by Netflix

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Published by Digz 2 weeks ago , last updated 2 weeks ago

In a dramatic series of events that unfolded during the week Spencer Neumann formerly Activision Blizzards CFO has now joined Netflix a press release confirms as of today:

 Seasoned media and finance executive succeeds David Wells

Los Gatos, CA., January 2, 2019 -- Netflix Inc. announced today that Spencer Neumann is joining the company as Chief Financial Officer. Neumann is an accomplished media and financial executive who was most recently CFO of Activision Blizzard and previously held several senior positions at the The Walt Disney Company. He succeeds David Wells who served as CFO since 2010.

“Spencer is a stellar entertainment executive and we’re thrilled that he will help us provide amazing stories to people all over the world,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix Chief Executive Officer. “I also want to again say thank you to David Wells, on behalf of the company and our shareholders, for his invaluable contributions at Netflix over the past 14 years.”

“Netflix is a singular brand, and I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to work with the Netflix team and all of our stakeholders to build on the company’s exceptional track record of success and innovation,” said Spencer Neumann.

Neumann served as Activision Blizzard’s CFO from May 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Neumann held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, most recently serving as the CFO and executive vice president of Global Guest Experience of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, from 2012 until May 2017. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Neumann worked at the private equity firms of Providence Equity Partners and Summit Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Neumann held several other roles with Disney, which he initially joined in 1992, including executive vice president of the ABC Television Network from 2001 to 2004 and CFO of the Walt Disney Internet Group from 1999 to 2001. He is also a member of the national board of directors of Make-A-Wish America. Mr. Neumann holds a B.A. degree in economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

You can read the press release here. The story initially broke with CNBC stating that the organisation wanted to fire Spencer Neumann because he wanted to pursue another job, and that he was not getting fired due to poor financial performances. It's a strange set of circumstances when a strong figure in the business wants to leave, do you let him go with good will or do you try and keep them? Normally people in leadership positions such as CFOs will have a period of absence between taking on larger roles or a long notice period but I guess Activsion Blizzard wasn't thinking of that when they heard Mr Neumann wanted to leave or he didn't have it in a clause within his contract. I'm sure the speculation will continue forever but the reality is Netflix have gained a credible CFO to continue their charge into world dominance in their industry.

Comments on this Article
2 weeks ago by Zipacna

Yeah, the stocks thing doesn't ring true to me either. They have obviously been tanking, and selling price and dividends are just pitiful. This, however, is not something that happened yesterday, obviously. I think he was just looking at what was happening, with all their monetisation efforts in AAA and, even despite the tiny overhead, mobile largely failing to reach what they intended (and, if I am to believe the person I know at Blizzard, also communicated underhand in the company and to bigger partners), and he secured his out as long as he could, pushed the blame onto others (although I highly doubt he was anything like a leading hand in this anyway) and jumped ship before they could sacrifice him as a token of good will on the altar of outward betterment.

I mean, sure, it doesn't look that well when your senior personnel wants to get the hell out as soon as their contract and opportunity allows, but frankly, that, dear kids who may be watching, is how you jump to a better job. You negotiate while you're still employed and only quit once you've secured something new. You don't just quit and cross your fingers.

And now I'm interested in whether stock will tank even more. Sometimes, financial investment can be fun.

1 week ago by Digz

Totally agreed, he played his hand quite well and actually I think it's what he didn't do that worked better for him by Activision Blizzard wanting to let him go. It takes a lot for a company to push a person before they want to jump that's what I've seen so far in the business world but then again if someone is going to jump another strategy is to try and underhandedly taint their name by spooking out prospective employers - i.e. saying he's going to get fired.