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Summary:

After a tumultuous year for Netflix, long-time Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Kilgore will be stepping down from her role with the company. In her place, Netflix has named Jessie Becker as its interim Chief Marketing Officer and appointed Jonathan Friedland as the company’s Chief Communications Officer.

netflix envelope

After a tumultuous year for Netflix, long-time Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Kilgore will be stepping down from her role with the company. In her place, Netflix has named Jessie Becker as its interim Chief Marketing Officer and appointed Jonathan Friedland as the company’s Chief Communications Officer.

Kilgore had been Netflix’s marketing chief for 12 years, but the company suffered a number of setbacks in 2011. They began with an announced price hike that angered many customers as the company raised prices for joint DVD-and-streaming subscribers by as much as 60 percent. But the bad news kept coming, as Netflix came forward with plans to separate those services and spin out its DVD-by-mail business as a standalone service called Qwikster that never actually launched. Along with the news that Netflix would not be re-upping its Starz streaming deal in 2012, caused many subscribers to reconsider whether they wanted to stick with the company.

While Netflix might have moved too quickly to separate streaming from its DVD business, the real issue is that the company mismanaged communications with its customer base, which up until recently had been pretty loyal to the company. For years, Netflix was named among the top companies in terms of consumer satisfaction, but a number of stumbles in a short period of time caused the company to lose subscriber and investor support.

Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers in the third quarter, and its stock has fallen from more than $300 a share to as low as $62 over the past six months. While it’s been trading up recently — and has stabilized around $100 a share — it’s still a long way back to where things stood in the early part of last summer.

As a result, a shakeup in marketing and communications shouldn’t be too surprising: After all, Netflix doesn’t just depend on advertising to get people on board. It depends on positive word of mouth from its subscribers to start growing its domestic membership again.

  1. Leslie did a great job…The industry has been disrupted and will only get tougher for these media conglomerates. “Tastemakers”, is the vernicular for innovative entertainment like The FreeStyle Life o thefreestylelife.com

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  2. This is not about performance, it’s about protection, Reed needs another ace in hand on the board…big decisions come after terrible earnings :)

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  3. Charlie Accetta Friday, January 20, 2012

    Right … so a series of incredibly stupid decisions is followed by the inevitable fallout and this poor thing has to fall on her sword because she couldn’t put a positive spin on STUPID. I’m so glad to have Netflix in my rear view. Never going back.

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  4. Michael Davis Friday, January 20, 2012

    I believe business school teaches you about creating value. I think Netflix lost that.

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  5. Unfortunately, it sounds like the person with the grand idea of changing Netflix still has a job?

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  6. Its a shame they chose to change service, we loved the convenience of using it on phone, games consoles and in the mail and lookd forward to the deal with cable providers. We also insubscribed from service as soon as news broke out

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  7. Michael Armocida Friday, January 20, 2012

    Charlie Accetta is absolutely right. No communications could have saved this company from their own stupidity (or should I say their CEO’s stupidity). It’s their idiot CEO who should be out of a job – what the hell are the Board of Director’s thinking?

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  8. It’s good to be read this.
    very well written

    Exam Notes

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