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Posts Tagged ‘Reed Hastings’

SEC Issues New Social Media Rules for CEOs

Remember when the SEC threatened to put the smack down on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings for revealing in a Facebook post that his company had achieved a record one billion hours of video streamed in a single month? The organization claimed that he was revealing confidential business info in order to bump up his company’s stock prices, but they’re totally cool with it now.

The organization laid out some new guidelines for CEOs who want to be more active on social media (a course strongly recommended by Leslie-Gaines Ross of Weber Shandwick).

There’s nothing too crazy here — just a realization that the rules regarding business disclosures need to take a step into the 21st century.

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Netflix CEO Posts World’s Priciest Facebook Update

Netflix CEO Reed HastingsReed Hastings, public persona and Netflix head honcho, took the opportunity to share some good news about his business with his 245,000 Facebook followers way back in July: Netflix viewers watched more than one billion hours worth of video in June (we proudly contributed to that number with our annual Arrested Development marathon).

Hastings has done this kind of thing before, but this time the stock bump that followed his status update caught the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission–and then things got messy.

The SEC sent Hastings a notice letting him know that they’re investigating him and may file a suit against the company for violating the Regulation Fair Disclosure rule, which requires companies to release business news to all investors simultaneously. In other words, they’ve essentially accused him of facilitating insider trading by making a very public statement. Bring on the lawyers…

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Netflix’s Reed Hastings: All Right, We Get It!

Photo: JD Lasica/

Netflix took a beating yesterday like Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed. The company lost 800,000 subscribers over the quarter and a huge chunk of its stock value. Ugly! Still, its earnings beat expectations.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has gotten the hint and, during yesterday’s earnings call, made it clear that he’s been wrong about everything the company has done since the summer.

“In hindsight, it is hard to justify. Having separate brands can in theory make sense. However after the price increase, Qwikster became the symbol of Netflix not listening,” he said at one point.

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The Long-Term Damage to the Netflix Brand

When Netflix announced earlier this week that it would be putting the kibosh on Qwikster before it even launched, the entertainment company’s customers (those that haven’t already taken their movie-watching business elsewhere) were pretty happy. But was the damage to the Netflix brand already done?

In today’s guest post, Barbara Apple Sullivan, founder of the brand engagement firm Sullivan, proposes five reasons why the harm to the Netflix brand may very likely be irreparable.  Sullivan founded her firm in 1990 after a career in the financial services industry. The firm has worked with clients including American Express, BlackRock, and UC Berkeley.

Click through to read on.

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Netflix CEO Apologizes, Introduces Qwikster in Customer Email

If you’re a Netflix customer, your inbox this morning contained an email from Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, that opens with, “I messed up. I owe you an explanation.”

With that, Hastings discusses the need for Netflix to move into streaming, his business fears, and the differing cost structures for a DVD business and a movie streaming business that made the cost increases that angered customers necessary. He also introduces “Qwikster,” the new DVD service that will have its own website and logo when it launches in a few weeks, splitting the company into two businesses.

Netflix has had a hard go of it since it sprung its price increases on consumers. Subscribers have fled and the stock has taken a beating.

But, this is exactly what PR experts advise a company in trouble to do; come out and speak directly to consumers, let them know their feedback has been heard, and respond. However, in PR as in life, there are no guarantees. People are in the comments on the company’s blog post saying this isn’t a real apology (he doesn’t apologize for jacking up prices) and continue to voice their complaints. Not to mention the criticisms of the new name for the DVD business. Qwikster?!

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