Facebook Adds Netflix CEO to Board of Directors

Facebook named Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, to its board of directors, the social network reported today.

“Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV,”  Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook said in a statement. “He has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day.”

Hastings, chief executive and chairman of Netflix, a leading Internet subscription service for movies and television programs, founded the company in 1997. Previously he founded Pure Atria Software, and was chief executive until the company was acquired by Rational Software Corporation in 1997. He holds a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College.

“Facebook is propelling a fundamental change in how people connect with each other and share all kinds of content,” Hastings said. “I’m looking forward to working with Mark and the rest of the board to help Facebook take advantage of all the opportunities ahead.”

Hastings isn't new to boards. He has been a board member at Microsoft since 2007 and was president of California's State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. 

Other members of Facebook's board include founder Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz; Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company; and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund.

We believe this might have simply been a way for Facebook to gain expertise with online video. Facebook's latest innovations, photo and video sharing, can only be improved with Hastings' streaming video knowledge. While there is some evidence that this move is strengthening the Facebook/Netflix partnership, we think Facebook places directors on its board mostly to advise and help the company -- possibly taking it public, which Hastings did with Netflix in 2002.

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