Netflix's 4Q subscribers surge, long-time CEO passes baton

Netflix’s subscriber growth is surging again, providing an early sign that its shift to include ads in a cheaper version of its video streaming service is helping to combat

tougher competition and attract cost-conscious customers grappling with inflation. The company on Thursday disclosed a gain of 7.7 million subscribers during the

October-December period, a stretch that included the debut of an ad-supported option for $7 per month — less than half the price of its most popular commercial-free plan. The

performance followed subscriber gains that topped analysts’ modest expectations during a July-September period that followed Netflix’s second consecutive quarter of customer

losses. Having regained its momentum, Netflix also announced its co-founder Reed Hastings will relinquish its title of co-CEO, completing a transition that began in July

2020 with the appointment of its programming chief, Ted Sarandos, as co-CEO. Greg Peters, Netflix's chief operating officer, will join Sarandos as co-CEO while Hastings becomes

executive chairman. Hastings, 62, had been Netflix's CEO for more than 20 years after taking over the role from his friend and fellow company co-founder Marc Randolph in the

late 1990s. In a blog post, Hastings said he, Sarandos, and Peters have “all learned how to bring out the best in each other. I look forward to working with them in this

role for many years to come.”