Netflix can no longer allow the meme of an egomaniacal, narcissistic Reed Hastings to fester. It allows books to get written and articles printed without giving authors intimate, even if off-the-record and informal, access to Hastings.
I talk to several people who know Hastings relatively well. They have nothing but nice things to say about the guy. He's apparently a pretty good dude.
Netflix has done nothing to shift public perception in this probably closer-to-accurate direction. In fact, the moves it makes (and does not make) produce the opposite outcome.
Netflix and Zynga should publicly "fire" Hastings and Pincus and "reassign" them as founders and chief strategy officers. Just like Tim Westergren at Pandora (P). People respect Pandora management, even if they don't see eye to eye on its future.Let's face it, visionaries such as Hastings and Pincus have no time for the public relations/media game when they're trying to focus as visionary and CEO. Few can pull off the Steve Jobs balancing act of genius, good guy/bad guy and narcissist all at the same time. There's nothing wrong with being a "bad guy" or even a "narcissist" as long as you moderate these qualities privately (which I am certain Hastings and Pincus do) and publicly (which both need to start or continue to do). Take some heat off of Hastings and Pincus. Give them time to strategize long-term and craft better public images with the checks, balances and coherent plan a new CEO will put in place.