This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Did Netflix's Reed Hastings Lie to Us?

Stocks in this article: NFLX FB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings doesn't come out looking too good, particularly in the early stages of Gina Keating's excellent Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America's Eyeballs.

After reading Keating's account, I better appreciate Hastings, the CEO and the man. In fact, for as great of a job as Keating did, Hastings got an equally-as-raw deal.

Keating reveals a side of Hastings many of us knew existed, but, without firsthand contact, could not confirm. Keating describes him as "icy," which, by most accounts, probably fits.

Hastings is not socially awkward. He's just a guy who doesn't care much about personal relationships, at least when it comes to business. It's all about the image. All about the spin. And all about winning. That's a dangerous cocktail.

Keating's portrayal of Hastings vindicates something I have come to believe.

This CEO needs a strong COO. Just like Mark Zuckerberg has with Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook (FB).

Outside of the people person sphere, Hastings is a brilliant guy. This brilliance leads him to want to control many aspects of the Netflix operation. And, ultimately, he's just not very good at much of it, as he proved several times last year.

Hastings presides over, at best, a rocky marriage with Netflix users.

While I wouldn't blast Hastings nearly as hard as I did Lance Armstrong, you can logically draw parallels between the marketing and public relations machines both men live and die by.

Like Armstrong, Netflix is all about official statements, no comments and strategic, even if horribly ill-advised, Tweets and blog posts.

Armstrong crafts his image down to the 140th character.

Netflix is only slightly different. For goodness sake, a majority of questions on the company's quarterly conference call are pre-selected and read to the CEO and CFO by the head of investor relations.

In the long run, highly-controlled image creation backfires. Mistakes, ego and seemingly innocuous "white lies" catch up with you.

Case in point after a key qualifier.

Seems to me that exiled Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph informed a significant portion of Keating's book. Keep that in mind as I relay this story. Randolph might have an ax to grind; however, what I believe to be Randolph's input appears legit.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs