It was a good year to run a streaming service.
Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings earned Ted Sarandos earned $43.2 million and $39.3 million respectively in 2020, representing sizable pay increases for the two men.
Hastings, who also serves as the company’s chairman, earned $38.6 million in 2019 and $36 million in 2019. Sarandos, who helped spearhead Netflix’s big push into original content, netted $34.7 million in 2019 and $29.6 million in the previous year.
More than half of Sarandos’ compensation was in the form of his $20 million salary, while the bulk of Hastings’ pay came from $42 million in options. Hastings only drew a $650,000 salary. Sarandos also enjoyed a generous incentive package, bringing in $18.3 million in options.
Netflix has seen its popularity rise during the COVID lockdown. The streaming service provided a vital source of entertainment at a time when live events were impossible and movie theaters were shuttered. But the company is no longer the only game in town when it comes to streaming. In recent months, Comcast, Disney and WarnerMedia have all launched their own Netflix-challengers. That has forced Netflix to spend more money on original content. On Tuesday, Wall Street, which has mostly been bullish on the company, grew skittish over Netflix’s lower-than-expected subscriber growth. That caused the stock to drop.
Netflix has several contenders at this Sunday’s Oscars, including “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The company earned 37 nominations.
Other top executives also enjoyed generous compensation packages. Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann got $12.9 million in salary, bonuses and other incentives, while Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters earned $20.8 million in compensation and Chief Legal Officer David Hyman earned $10.5 million in total compensation.