Netflix investors look to strip Hastings of chairmanship

Two powerful pension funds are seeking to take the chairman of the board seat away from Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings.

Reed Hastings, Netflix


The New York Times reports that California public pension fund Calpers, and New York City comptroller Scott M. Stringer, head of the Big Apple's pension fund, are looking to separate the roles of CEO and chairman at Netflix, a duality Hastings has enjoyed since the subscription video on demand company went public in 2002.

On Monday, the matter will be voted on when Netflix convenes its annual shareholders meeting. According to the Times, the move to dilute Hastings' power has received backing from two big proxy advisory firms: Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Company.

Netflix shares finished Friday trading at $430.13 per share, up 95 percent in 12 months, so the origins of the shareholder dissonance seem a bit curious.

"We want to make sure the company is operating at the highest possible level," Stringer told the Times. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Stringer and his constituents are also looking to shorten the Netflix director term from three years to one year.

Stringer's idea has already proven popular with Netflix investors, with shareholders voting 73 percent in favor of a similar motion last year--a move that resulted in no Netflix policy change.

"A board that ignores its shareholders is a house of cards," Stringer quipped to the Times.

For more:
- read this New York Times story

Related links:
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Net neutrality wars: AT&T exec calls Netflix's Hastings 'arrogant'