Netflix names Activision Blizzard’s Neumann as new finance chief

Streaming service Netflix on Wednesday named media veteran Spencer Neumann as its new finance chief, just days after he was terminated from his job at video game maker Activision Blizzard.

Mr Neumann replaces David Wells who had been Netflix’s finance head since 2010.

“Spencer is a stellar entertainment executive and we’re thrilled that he will help us provide amazing stories to people all over the world,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix chief executive officer.

Mr Neumann most recently served as Activision’s CFO, a position he has held since May 2017. Before that, he had worked at The Walt Disney Company and private equity firms of Providence Equity Partners and Summit Partners.

The appointment of Mr Neumann comes as Netflix looks to ramp up its investment in original content in the US and overseas. The company behind The Crown and BirdBox secured more than $2bn through a bond offering in October to finance its heavy spending on original movies and television shows.

Activision said in a filing on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had placed Mr Neumann on a paid leave of absence and intended to terminate his employment “for cause unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures”.

On Wednesday, Activision said Mr Neumann was fired “for violating his legal obligations to the Company”.

Reuters had previously reported that Netflix would announce that it had poached Mr Neumann.

“Netflix is a singular brand, and I’m excited and honoured for the opportunity to work with the Netflix team and all of our stakeholders to build on the company’s exceptional track record of success and innovation,” Mr Neumann said.


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