Reed Hastings sells $1.1 billion in Netflix shares

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: CNBC
February 5, 2024 at 14:50
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Netflix co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings has gifted two million shares of the streaming giant, according to a regulatory filing, with a current value of more than $1.1 billion.

Netflix co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings has gifted two million shares of his holdings in the streaming giant, according to a regulatory filing, with a current value of more than $1.1 billion.

Hastings has a net worth of $6.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a significant portion of which is Netflix stock. The gift, about 40% of Hastings’ direct holdings, was made to an undisclosed entity and disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.

“We don’t know what it could be, whether it’s a charity or multiple charities,” VerityData Vice President Ben Silverman told CNBC. “There’s always a possibility that they’re shifting the stock somewhere else, for example to a trust where they don’t have control or are not a beneficiary.”

Hastings has several philanthropic pursuits. In 2020, he announced he would donate $120 million to two historically Black colleges and universities and the United Negro College Fund.

Hastings retains just under three million Netflix shares with a value of around $1.7 billion. Given his long tenure at Netflix, he also has several tranches of options that he has historically sold at a steady clip, VerityData’s Silverman told CNBC. Those sales have netted him around $2 billion.

Though Hastings remains the executive chairman of Netflix, the company has no obligation to disclose the reason behind the gift or the beneficiary. Netflix shares are up nearly 23% year to date but are still around 16% below their 2021 high.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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