It was a good year to run a streaming service.
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Hastings, who also serves as the company’s chairman, earned $38.6 million in 2019 and $36 million in 2018. Sarandos, who helped spearhead Netflix’s big push into original content, netted $34.7 million in 2019 and $29.6 million in the previous year.
More than half of Sarandos’ compensation was in the form of his $20 million salary, while the bulk of Hastings’ pay came from $42 million in options. Hastings only drew a $650,000 salary. Sarandos also enjoyed a generous incentive package, bringing in $18.3 million in options.
In addition, the 2020 pay package for Sarandos, who was named co-CEO alongside Hastings last summer, included $995,088 in residential security costs “paid to a third-party provider.” According to the company’s proxy filing Friday, the Netflix board’s compensation committee “approved the residential security costs after considering the potential security concerns related to Mr. Sarandos’ service as an executive officer and believes the security costs are a necessary and appropriate business expense.”
Netflix has seen its popularity rise during the COVID lockdown. The streaming service provided a vital source of entertainment at a time when live events were impossible and movie theaters were shuttered. But the company is no longer the only game in town when it comes to streaming. In recent months, Comcast, Disney and WarnerMedia have all launched their own Netflix challengers. That has forced Netflix to spend more money on original content. On Tuesday, Wall Street, which has mostly been bullish on the company, grew skittish over Netflix’s lower-than-expected subscriber growth. That caused the stock to drop.
Netflix has several contenders at this Sunday’s Oscars, including “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The company earned a leading 36 nominations.
Other top executives also enjoyed generous compensation packages. CFO Spencer Neumann got $12.9 million in salary, bonuses and other incentives, while COO and chief product officer Greg Peters earned $20.8 million in compensation and chief legal officer David Hyman took home $10.5 million in total compensation.
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