Ted Sarandos, the longtime leader of Netflix’s content arm, has been named co-CEO with co-founder and current CEO Reed Hastings.
Sarandos will continue to serve as the company’s chief content officer, and he is joining the board of directors as well. Meanwhile, Chief Product Officer Greg Peters is taking on the additional role of chief operating officer.
Sarandos was born in Phoenix, Arizona, to father Ted Sarandos, who was an electrician, and a mother who was a stay-at-home mom. He is the fourth of five children, with three older sisters and a younger brother.
Sarandos’ paternal grandfather came from the Greek island of Samos to the United States as a young boy. His family name was originally Kariotakis but he changed it to Sarandos.
In a blog post, Hastings recalled meeting Sarandos more than 20 years ago, and he credited him with much of the company’s recent success:
“While I saw streaming coming and pushed for it, Ted drove the revolution in our content strategy, which was way ahead of its time and has been key to our continued success. It was typical of his ability to see where the industry – and consumer tastes – are headed. He’s built an extraordinary team, attracting some of the most creative and best entertainment executives from all around the world.”
In the same post, Sarandos said his “commitment to Netflix members going forward” is to “keep pushing the boundaries of what a consumer-first company can achieve for people who love stories.”
Watch Ted Sarandos talking about the Netflix boom and his Greek heritage:
The announcement was timed with the company’s second-quarter earnings release, in which it announced adding more than 10 million net memberships in the past quarter, growing to 192.95 million paid memberships total. Meanwhile, revenue grew to $6.15 billion, with earnings per share of $1.59.
The company has seen tremendous growth during the coronavirus pandemic. It already added 15.77 million net new subscribers in the first quarter, which means 26 million total net additions for the first half of 2020 (compared to 12 million in the first half of 2019).