Netflix shareholders oppose plan to split CEO, chairman roles
Netflix shareholders voted against splitting the video streaming and DVD company’s CEO and chairman roles, both of which are currently occupied by cofounder Reed Hastings.
A vote at Netflix’s annual meeting in Los Gatos, Calif. failed to garner majority support a year after a similar proposal got 73% of the vote, various outlets reported Monday afternoon. The Wall Street Journal noted that a final count of the votes was not yet available. Public pension funds in California and New York had been supporting proposal along with proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Company.
Leading up to Monday’s vote, multiple publications wondered whether or not the results of the referendum would even have any real impact on the company’s corporate structure. Despite receiving the support of nearly three-quarters of shareholders last year, the non-binding proposal failed to result in any changes to Hastings’ job title after the Netflix board opposed the plan. Similar votes have been pushed at other major companies, including JP Morgan Chase (JPM), where only about a third of shareholders voted in May to separate Jamie Dimon’s CEO and chairman roles.
Meanwhile, another Netflix (NFLX) battle continued Monday when the company said it would stop blaming broadband providers when customers experience slow streaming speeds. Netflix had been displaying pop-up screens informing customers that streaming interruptions were being caused by congestion on the network of their provider.
Last week, Verizon (VZ) issued a cease-and-desist letter to Netflix, threatening legal action if the display messages continued. While Netflix originally responded by claiming the company was attempting to provide its customers with transparency, the streaming service said in a blog post Monday that the “small-scale test” (aka the messages laying blame on Internet service providers) will end on June 16, at which point the company “will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.”