Netflix has announced that chief financial officer (CFO) David Wells is stepping down.
Wells joined Netflix in 2004 as vice president for finance planning and analysis, before taking over as CFO in 2010. He replaced longstanding CFO Barry McCarthy, who had guided Netflix as it transitioned into becoming a public company in 2002. McCarthy now serves as CFO of Spotify, another recently public company.
In the eight years since running Netflix’s financial affairs, Wells has overseen the company’s transformation into the streaming powerhouse it is today. When he took over in 2010, Netflix shares were worth around $25; today they’re at more than $350.
No reason has been given for Wells’ decision to step aside, but 14 years at the same company is a long time, so it’s not an entirely surprising move. Wells said he hasn’t yet decided what to do next but that it will involve some form of philanthropy.
“It’s been 14 wonderful years at Netflix, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” he said. “After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed, we agreed that with Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company. Personally, I intend my next chapter to focus more on philanthropy, and I like big challenges, but I’m not sure yet what that looks like.”
Wells will stay on as CFO until a successor is found.