January 20, 2023
Good morning, Media Deals readers!
🚨 Breaking: More layoffs in tech and media. Vox Media is laying off 7% of its staff, CEO Jim Bankoff said in a memo today, citing the "challenging economic environment." Earlier this morning, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company was planning to lay off 12,000 people.
1 big thing: Netflix's next chapter
A major leadership shakeup at Netflix following the most tumultuous year in the company's history signals a new era for the entertainment giant, Sara Fischer writes.
Why it matters: After a decade of consistent growth under co-founder Reed Hasting's leadership as chief executive, the company now must pivot its strategy to take on a more competitive and turbulent streaming landscape.
Driving the news: Netflix yesterday surprised Wall Street when it announced that Hastings was stepping down as co-CEO of the streaming giant and becoming executive chairman.
- As part of the leadership change, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos will be joined by a new co-CEO — current COO Greg Peters.
- "There's no big strategy shift or big culture shifts," Peters said on yesterday's earnings call. "We don't have a bank of changes that we have been holding for this moment. So, mostly, it's continuity and moving forward."
💭 Tim's thought bubble: Peters may have brushed off any wholesale shift in strategy, but the two new business models he's championed — ad-supported streaming and gaming — have also been the places where the deal-hesitant company has done the most M&A.
- In fact, one notable mention during the call yesterday came from Sarandos, who hinted they may eventually introduce a free subscription: "We’re keeping an eye on that segment, for sure."