Netflix shares down 1.5% in the pre-market after news that CFO David Wells will be leaving the firm “to pursue philanthropy” as the firm faces growing competition and cash burn.
The press release signals a business as usual exit of the CFO – who has been with Netflix since 2004 (and has served as CFO since 2010) – confirming he intends to stay until his successor takes the role to ensure a smooth transition.
“It’s been 14 wonderful years at Netflix, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” Wells said. “After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed, we agreed that with Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company. Personally, I intend my next chapter to focus more on philanthropy and I like big challenges but I’m not sure yet what that looks like.”
But shareholders are perhaps a little concerned at the timing of his departure…
As Bloomberg reports, Netflix, more than any other streaming service so far, has aggressively pumped billions of dollars into original content as it seeks to take on traditional studios. That’s helped Netflix boost its subscribers numbers globally, but has also raised concerns about the company’s financial health.
Wells’s successor will have to contend with keeping the cash burn in check going forward, as Netflix also faces stiffer competition from the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co.’s new streaming service.
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