Since Netflix is a publicly traded company, no single entity owns it outright; instead, many investors collectively own the company. One such major investor is Vanguard Group Inc., which owns 35.5 million shares of Netflix. This boils down to 7.9% of the total number of outstanding shares. Among individual shareholders, the largest is Reed Hastings, its former co-CEO, who owns about 1% of the company.
Top Individual Insider Shareholders
Reed Hastings is a technology entrepreneur and Stanford University alumnus with a degree in computer science. He left his job as a software engineer to launch PureSoftware. The company was subsequently bought by Rational Software, which enabled him to finance Netflix — the company he co-founded alongside Marc Randolph in 1997.
Despite having sold most of his stakes since then, Reed Hastings remains one of the most significant individual insider shareholders at Netflix, with ownership of over 5 million shares representing 5 million votes — worth an estimated $3 billion as per December 2021 figures. His larger-than-life success story has been inspiring entrepreneurs all over the world, especially those within Silicon Valley circles, where Reed Hastings is considered a pivotal figure when it comes to technical merits alone.
Greg Peters is one of the major individual stakeholders in Netflix’s stock. He owns 13,090 shares, which is less than 0.01% of the company’s total outstanding shares. While Peters has a vested interest in how well Netflix performs as a business, his stake is relatively small compared to the total value of its market capitalization.
Peters joined Netflix in 2008 and served as their Chief Product Officer from 2017-2023. As CPO, he led the product team, which is responsible for designing, building, and optimizing the entire customer experience on the streaming site. Prior to this role, he was the International Development Officer for Netflix, where he worked on expanding their international customer base and global presence in various markets. He is now a co-CEO of the company.
He holds a seat on the board of directors for 2U Inc., an educational technology services provider based out of Maryland, USA. His collective responsibilities demonstrate his dedication to promoting innovation and developing enhanced customer experiences across multiple industries — both at home with Netflix and abroad with 2U Inc.
David Hyman is not only an individual insider shareholder of Netflix, he is also a valuable member of the company’s executive team. He has been with the streaming service for over 20 years and currently holds 31,610 shares or about 0.01% of all outstanding shares in the company.
As General Counsel and Secretary of Netflix, Hyman has overseen all legal affairs, which have allowed the service to grow and be successful. Not only that, but he is also responsible for public policy initiatives in order to ensure maximum compliance with government regulations and that ethical standards are met.
Leslie J. Kilgore
Leslie Kilgore is one of the top individual insiders at Netflix, owning a total of 35,196 shares of the company’s stock. This represents a 0.02% stake in Netflix overall and is one of the largest, if not the largest, individual holdings.
Kilgore has been associated with Netflix for quite some time, having served as their Chief Marketing Officer from 2000-2012 before joining the Board of Directors in 2012 as a non-executive member. While on the board, she has been an active member, with her decades-long expertise in streaming and digital media playing a significant role in its success.
Kilgore has numerous business involvements beyond Netflix, including serving on the boards of companies like Pinterest, Medallia, and Nextdoor. Leveraging her extensive marketing expertise, she offers a wealth of insight and guidance to ensure that each company optimizes its strategies for maximum efficiency.
Top Institutional Shareholders
Capital Research Global Investors
Capital Research Global Investors is an institutional investor that has a large focus on actively managed funds. Their portfolio encompasses 13F securities holdings worth around $330.877 billion as of December 30, 2022, with Netflix being their fourth-largest 13F buy. As of February 21, 2023, the firm owned 18.5 million shares of Netflix, representing 4.16% of total shares outstanding, according to Yahoo Finance. Their ownership position within Netflix allows them to have an influence on decision-making from the company’s boardroom due to shareholder voting rights that are associated with the stock position held by Capital Research Global Investors.
Vanguard Group Inc.
Vanguard Group Inc. is one of the largest and most influential institutional shareholders of Netflix, owning 35.5 million shares, which represents 7.9% of the total number of outstanding shares. Vanguard Group Inc. is largely a mutual fund and ETF management company, with $7.2 trillion in global assets under management (AUM). Its most notable ETF, the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), has about $754.1 billion in AUM and actively has Netflix as 0.3% of its investment portfolio.
BlackRock Inc. is one of the largest institutional shareholders of Netflix and owns 27.7 million shares, representing 6.23% of the total shares outstanding. BlackRock is a mutual fund and ETF management company with approximately $10 trillion in AUM. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), one of their largest ETFs, has around $307.3 billion in AUM, with Netflix comprising 0.45% of its holdings. As an institution that is well-regarded for active risk management and diversification strategies across global markets, BlackRock’s considerable ownership position indicates confidence in the long-term growth potential of Netflix’s business model.
Company Structure and Hierarchy
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings as a DVD-by-mail rental service. Since then, it has grown to become a global entertainment company with over 230 million subscribers spread across nearly 200 countries. The corporate structure of Netflix consists of three primary groups: the Executive Board, which is responsible for setting strategy; senior management, which directs daily operations; and regional business units, which oversee local markets around the globe. At the top of this pyramid sits Netflix executive chairman Reed Hastings, who co-founded Netflix with Marc Randolph in 1997 and has since guided them into becoming one of the most successful media companies ever created.
In addition to Reed Hastings being at the head of Netflix’s corporate hierarchy as executive chairman and co-founder, there are several other high-profile individuals who are also playing pivotal roles in driving growth at Netflix. The recently named co-CEOs, Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters (the former COO), essentially oversee all content-related decisions; at the moment, no one has been named the company’s new COO.
Other notable executives include Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann; Chief Marketing Officer Marian Lee; Chief Legal Officer David Hyman; Vice President, Engineering Deborah Black; and Vice President for Finance Spencer Wang, among many others, all of whom contribute directly to Netflix’s success on both a strategic and operational level globally.
Reed Hastings’ role as co-CEO, and co-founder
As founder and co-CEO from 1999-2023 (he originally shared duties with Marc Randolph), Reed Hastings was responsible for setting both short-term objectives for immediate performance goals, as well as long-term strategies focused on positioning Netflix for continued future success domestically and globally against various competitors now and emerging later from both traditional networks/cable players.
As the driving force behind innovative initiatives like “binge-watching” or the award-winning original series programming that helped shape it into what it is today, his continued leadership remains a key driver of continued innovation, ensuring that it maintains an edge against competition while leveraging available tech opportunities so that they can remain leaders in streaming video market share.
Even though he recently announced he’d step down from the board (handing over to Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters), he is still very much involved with the company, providing the guidance and vision needed to keep them on the right track and ahead of the curve.
Netflix is a publicly traded company, which means ownership is distributed among many investors. Vanguard Group Inc. is one of the major shareholders in the company, holding a 7.9% stake in it, while BlackRock Inc. comes in second with 6.23% of shares. The remaining shares are distributed among several other institutional and individual holders. In terms of individuals, Reed Hastings owns the largest stake among other individual shareholders, amounting to 1%.
Since its IPO in 2002, Netflix has seen tremendous success and growth, despite the fact that no single entity solely owns it. The collective efforts of all these shareholders provided much-needed financial capital that helped propel the streaming giant to become one of today’s most successful companies.