Reed Hastings is the co-founder and CEO of multimedia streaming giant, Netflix. He co-founded the company in 1997, originally as a video rental service, and it began streaming content in 2007.
Following his undergraduate years at Bowdoin College where he earned a B.S. in mathematics, Hastings served in the Peace Corps, spending most of his time teaching math in Swaziland. Upon returning to the United States, he attended Stanford University, earning a M.S.C.S. in artificial intelligence in 1988. Shortly thereafter, he founded Pure Software, which provided tools for software developers. He sold the company to Rational Software in 1997.
It was around that time, after incurring a large late fee at a video rental store, that Hastings first conceived his idea of a subscription-based movie-rental service. He co-founded Netflix with Marc Randolph (who would leave the company in 2004) that same year.
Customers were first able to rent one DVD per week, but by 1999 they could receive unlimited titles. In 2007, streaming was introduced and the company also shipped its billionth DVD. Hastings later oversaw the company’s move toward Netflix-specific content, the first of which was drama series, House of Cards, in 2013.
Today, the company’s entertainment spans numerous genres and languages to reach 193 million people in 195 countries.
Netflix is known for its unique workplace culture, and in 2020, Hastings co-wrote the book, No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention with author and cultural expert Erin Meyer, exposing the company’s distinctive atmosphere.
A noted philanthropist, Hastings devotes part of his time to educational issues, notably charter schools. In June 2020, Hastings and his wife, Patty, donated $120 million to fund scholarships at two historically Black colleges & the United Negro College Fund. Hastings is on the board of several educational organizations including DreamBox Learning, KIPP and Pahara. He also served on the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.
Additionally, he is a board member of Facebook and served on the board of Microsoft from 2007 to 2012.
Reed Hastings has not been actively trading shares of Netflix during the last ninety days. Most recently, Reed Hastings sold 437,311 shares of the business's stock in a transaction on Monday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $527.26, for a transaction totalling $230,576,597.86. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,097 shares of the company's stock, valued at $21,668,804.22.