Reports: Netflix to hire Activision Blizzard CFO

Adam Shepherd

2 Jan, 2019

Netflix will shortly announce the hiring of Activision Blizzard’s current CFO Spencer Neumann, according to reports.

A source close to the deal has said that Neumann is slated to start at Netflix early this year, according to reports from Reuters. He will reportedly be based in Los Angeles, and will focus on production costs.

Neumann will replace outgoing CFO David Wells, who announced in August that he would be stepping down after a 14-year tenure with the company. Wells has been CFO since 2010, during which time he has helped guide the company from a minor DVD rental service to an omnipresent cultural phenomenon.

Neumann is leaving his current post at Activision Blizzard under something of a cloud. The company publicly disclosed his imminent dismissal as part of a regulatory filing earlier this week, stating only that it was “unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures”. He is currently on paid leave.

His tenure as CFO at Activision Blizzard has lasted for less than two years, and the last 12 months have seen the games publisher’s stock price drop by just over 25%. In his absence, his predecessor Dennis Durkin – who is currently acting as chief corporate officer and served as CFO from 2012 to 2017 – will step back into the role.

Neumann has a strong media background and previously had a lengthy career as part of the Disney empire, having started with the company in 1992. His reported focus on production indicates that Netflix is still pursuing its goal of having 50% of its library of movies and TV shows being made in-house – a goal that has seen Netflix spend billions of dollars on creating high-profile shows such as House of Cards and Stranger Things.