Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Ted Sarandos see compensation decline in 2021

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Netflix top executives Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos saw their overall pay packages drop a bit in 2021 – but they still raked in tens of millions each.

Hastings total compensation package for 2021 was worth $40.8 million, including $39.7 million in stock grants and $650,000 in salary, according to the company’s 2022 proxy statement, filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s down 6 per cent from the year prior for the co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix, reports ‘Variety’.

Sarandos, who serves as co-CEO and chief content officer, earned $38.2 million last year, comprising $20 million in annual salary and $17.1 million in stock – a 2.7 per cent drop from 2020.

For 2022, Sarandos is set to receive $40 million in compensation and Hastings stands to make $34.65 million.

The Netflix board’s compensation committee “determined not to make any changes to executive officers’ allocatable compensation for 2021 as compared to 2020”, aside from incorporating the value of each executive’s stock option allowance.

The company allows named executive officers to allocate how their compensation is split between cash and stock options. The allocatable comp last year for both Hastings and Sarandos was $34.65 million, with Hastings electing to receive 98 per cent of that in stock and Sarandos opting for 42 per cent in stock.

Netflix’s other senior execs also saw slight declines in their comp last year. CFO Spence Neumann earned $12.5 million in 2021 (including $6 million in salary), down 3 percent year over year, while Greg Peters, COO and chief product officer, pulled down $20.4 million (including $12 million in salary), a 2 percent decline.

According to ‘Variety’, Chief legal officer David Hyman’s pay package was $10.2 million, down 3 percent, and chief communications officer Rachel Whetstone earned $5.33 million, a small drop from $5.36 million in 2020.

Since 2017, Netflix’s executive compensation has comprised only two pay components, salary and stock options.

“We do not use performance-based bonuses as we believe that they tend to incentivise specific, typically short-term focused behaviour rather than encourage long-term stockholder value creation,” the company explains in the 2022 proxy.

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