Netflix CFO David Wells leaving as SVOD competition heats up

Netflix remote control image
Netflix is looking for a new chief financial officer. (Pixabay)

Netflix announced on Monday that CFO David Wells is leaving the company. Wells’ exit comes as Netflix is staring down increasing competition, particularly from Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

Wells is sticking around until his successor is appointed. Netflix said it is looking at internal and external candidates for the job.

"It's been 14 wonderful years at Netflix, and I'm very proud of everything we've accomplished," Wells said in statement. "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."

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"David has been a valuable partner to Netflix and to me. He skillfully managed our finances during a phase of dramatic growth that has allowed us to create and bring amazing entertainment to our members all over the world while also delivering outstanding returns to our investors," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement. "I look forward to working with him during the transition as we identify a new CFO who will help us continue to pursue our ambitious goals."

RELATED: Netflix reports 'strong but not stellar' 5.2M new customers in Q2

For Netflix, this is the second high-level executive to depart this year. In June, the company fired Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland for making racist comments at the office.

Despite this being the second C-level executive exit this year, Netflix investors largely took the news in stride. After a slight dip early this morning, the company’s stock has rallied to a small gain.

The announcement today comes just weeks after Netflix turned in what it called “strong but not stellar” second-quarter earnings. The company reported $3.9 billion in revenue, $462 million in operating income and 5.2 million new subscribers, short of the 6.2 million the company had forecast.

While Netflix continues to grow both in the U.S. and abroad, the company could be running up against some significant competition in the near future. Disney last year ended its licensing deal with Netflix and announced plans to launch its own branded streaming service.

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