Considering how 2011 progressed for Netflix, it's not entirely surprising to hear some changes are in store at the top when it comes to marketing and communications. The video rental giant announced that its Chief Marketing Officer of the last dozen years, Leslie Kilgore, will be taking a position on its board as a "non-executive director", replaced in the interim by Jessie Becker as it conducts an external search for a permanent replacement. Also shifting positions is Jonathan Friedland who will be the new Chief Communications officer, and both Becker and Friedland will report directly to CEO Reed Hastings. Netflix's relationships with its customers were definitely damaged by last year's price hike and the shocking Qwikster spinoff announcement / unannouncement that followed, with a slate of original content on the way and some changes in store for its content licensing, we'll see if it can get the magic back in 2012 -- we're not so sure that the latest round of ads featuring beavers and hamsters (one's embedded after the break) are the way.
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Netflix Announces Management Changes
LOS GATOS, Calif., Jan. 20 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) today announced Leslie Kilgore, its Chief Marketing Officer for the last 12 years, will join the Netflix board as a non-executive director and that it had appointed Jessie Becker, interim Chief Marketing Officer and Jonathan Friedland, Chief Communications Officer.
"Leslie has been instrumental in our long-term success and our recent return to solid growth," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. "We are delighted she is joining our board of directors and will continue to be a key part of Netflix."
Ms. Kilgore joined Netflix in 2000 as CMO after holding various positions at Amazon.com, Procter & Gamble and Booz Allen and Hamilton. Ms. Kilgore, who has an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania/ Wharton School of Business, also serves as a director at LinkedIn Corporation.
An 11-year Netflix veteran, Ms. Becker has most recently been Vice President, Marketing, in charge of a variety of acquisition channels. Previously, she held positions at Amazon.com and Oracle Corp. Ms. Becker has an MBA from Stanford University and a BA and BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business.
Mr. Friedland joined Netflix in February 2011 from The Walt Disney Company, where he was SVP, Corporate Communications. Before that, he spent over 20 years as a foreign correspondent and editor, mainly with The Wall Street Journal, in the U.S., Asia and Latin America and co-founded the Diarios Rumbo chain of Spanish-language newspapers in Texas. Mr. Friedland, who has a MSc. Economics from the London School of Economics and a BA from Hampshire College, was a member of the WSJ team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 9/11 attacks.
Ms. Becker and Mr. Friedland will report to Mr. Hastings. During the coming months, Netflix will also conduct an external search for a new CMO.
With more than 20 million streaming members in the Americas, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world's leading internet subscription service for enjoying films and TV programmes. For about US$7.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited films and TV episodes streamed over the internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, internet-connectedTVs, home theatre systems, digital video recorders and internet video players; Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 700 devices that stream from Netflix are available. For additional information, visit www.netflix.com. Follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter.