Netflix CEO says CFO's departure was expected, not alarming

The seemingly abrupt departure of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) CFO Barry McCarthy is no reason to get down on the company's stock, CEO Reed Hastings writes in a blog post intended to rebut analyst Whitney Tilson.

McCarthy's departure, which raised eyebrows across the investment community, was not unexpected. "Barry McCarthy ... was working for a successful, younger CEO so he correctly figured the chances of him becoming CEO of Netflix were not high," Hastings explained. As early as 2004 McCarthy had sought to look elsewhere but "we entered into a huge fight with Blockbuster and Barry felt it would be low integrity to leave us in the midst of battle."

That battle was resolved in 2008 and "two weeks ago he informed me it was time to move on." McCarthy, Hastings emphasized, "is a super-principled guy" and would not have left the company if there was any imminent danger. "It is precisely because things look so good going forward that he allows himself to think of his own career ambitions."

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