Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Reed Hastings’s $300 Million Year

Reed HastingsReed Hastings took a big pay cut last year: In 2011, Netflix paid its CEO $9.3 million in cash and stock, but cut that down to $5.5 million in 2012.

So why is this man smiling?

Because he owns a big chunk of Netflix stock. And that stock has gotten much, much more valuable in the last 12 months.

A year ago, when Netflix was trading at $106, Hastings owned a 4.4 percent stake in the streaming video company, which was worth $265 million. Today, Hastings’s stake is up to 4.5 percent (more than half his ownership comes via options); at $215 a share, it is worth $559 million.

That is: The value of Reed Hastings’s Netflix holdings increased by almost $300 million in the last 12 months.

So he’s probably not smarting from a one-year pay cut.

Just in case he was, Netflix has boosted his 2013 pay. His salary will increase from $500,000 to $2 million, and he’ll get an option allowance of $2 million, up from $1.5 million.

If you want to see another happy Netflix shareholder, by the way, talk to Carl Icahn. Icahn accumulated a 9.9 percent stake in Netflix last fall, paying $58 a share. Today those shares are worth nearly $1.2 billion, which means Icahn is up close to $900 million in less than a year.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik