Chapter 1: In Which Greg applies for the position of NetFlix CEO

I’m sure that subscribers (both current and former) of NetFlix have been following the saga of the company’s declining subscriber base, and the foibles of the current CEO, Reed Hastings.  Given the quarterly earnings and subscriber report for Q3 2011, it seems that a shakeup at the company is imminent, and I wanted to be first in line.  So, today I submitted my resume for the position of CEO.

Now, let’s be frank: am I qualified to be CEO of *anything*, let alone a multi-million (billion?) dollar corporation?  Ha… NO!  I fully admit this is a lark, just to see if I get any kind of reaction at all.  I bet you one whole internet I don’t hear anything back at all, other than the auto-responder that replied to the e-mail.  But it makes for a fun little post for both readers of my blog (Hi, Mom!!).

Below is my email to


I would like to formally submit my resume for consideration for the position of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.


I realize this may come as a bit of a surprise, especially considering that you are most likely not even soliciting applicants for the position, and if you were, it most certainly would not be listed on your public job site for just anyone to apply.  However, it can come as no surprise that NetFlix has lost market share over the past 6 months.  Especially hard-hitting is the loss of nearly a million subscribers over the past three months – and there is no indication that the subscription loss will abate anytime soon.


I believe this can be directly attributed to the actions of Reed Hastings.  While we as subscribers can understand that negotiating the rights for more content can be costly, Mr. Hastings’ intimation that most people can absorb the cost of the increase be cutting out a latte every month is borderline insulting. While price increases are a necessity in this modern economy, it can definitely be presented in more palatable terms.  Add to that the recent mis-step regarding splitting the company into two distinct halves, and it would appear that Mr. Hastings does not fully use the advice that his advisers give.


Now this is not to say that Mr. Hastings is not a visionary in many ways.  He foresaw (correctly) that brick-and-mortar DVD rental was a fading trend, and positioned NetFlix to move into the rental-by-mail business – a move that not only scooped up customers from Blockbuster and the like, but also tapped into an under-served rural market that most national chains had forgotten about long ago.  Likewise, his move to internet streaming well before that was a marketable buzzword was nothing short of revolutionary.
However, for all of his visionary steps in bringing the company where it is, NetFlix’s declining market share and subsequently declining stock price demands management change, if the company wishes to be seen  as customer-focused going forward.  It is with this in mind that I respectfully submit my resume.
I thank you for your time.
Gregory B. Dickinson
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