Netflix Chief Hastings to Receive $29M in Stock Options in 2018

Salary falls to $700K; IRS rules drive decision

Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings will receive $28.7 million in stock options in 2018, part of a new compensation regime centered around new IRS rules.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hastings will receive an annual salary of $700,000 in 2018, down from $850,000 in the previous year. But his options will increase from $21.2 million in 2017 to nearly $29 million in 2018, largely to avoid surcharges associated with compensation of executives that exceeds $1 million annually.

Recently passed GOP tax reform rukes impose surcharges on bonuses paid to top executives, but not their salaries. As a result, Netflix’s compensation committee “determined that all cash compensation for 2018 will be paid as salary,” according to the filing.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos will get a big lift in salary – to $12 million from $1 million in 2017 – as well as a hefty increase in stock awards – from $11 million in 2017 to $14.25 million in 2017.

Other executives under the new compensation regime include chief financial officer David Wells (salary of $2.8 million and stock options of $2.45 million); chief product officer Ted Peters (salary of $6 million and options of $6.6 million); and general counsel and secretary David Hyman ($2.5 million salary and stock options worth $3.275 million).

The total compensation haul for all of the named executives will probably be even larger in 2018 as the figures don’t include all compensation categories.