Equilar Institute Blog Home

Netflix CFO Has Received More Than $23 Million During Tenure

Previous post Next post

August 14, 2018

Netflix CFO David Wells announced on Monday that he would be stepping down once the company announces his successor, as reported by CNBC. Wells has been CFO of the company since 2010, and has seen revenue grow 440.7% during his tenure.

According to Equilar BoardEdge, Wells has been with Netflix since March 2004, and served in multiple roles before becoming the CFO in 2010. Before joining the company, he was employed by Deloitte, as well as a non-profit organization. He currently sits on the board at Trade Desk, Inc. Wells received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from University of Virginia.

“It’s been 14 wonderful years at Neflix, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished,” Wells said in a statement, CNBC reported. “After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed, we agreed that Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company.”

Over the course of his entire tenure as CFO of Netflix, Wells received total compensation of $23,654,430, with the highest annual compensation value surpassing $6.1 million in 2016. At just under $5.2 million, 2017 represented the second highest annual total compensation for Wells, while 2011, his first full year as CFO, represented the lowest total, at roughly $1.4 million. Almost 90% of his total compensation in 2017 was made up of a combination of base salary and option awards. He was not granted a bonus in any year as CFO, yet Wells’ base salary increased with each passing year.

When compared to CFOs at Netflix’s proxy-disclosed peers, Wells’ 2017 total compensation is on the smaller side in terms of value, ranking 13th out of the 18 peers. Blake Jorgensen of Electronic Arts Inc. led the pack with around $19.3 million compensation received in 2017, $5 million more than Ned Segal of Twitter, the second-highest paid CFO in the peer group. Additionally, Wells’ total compensation for 2017 was less than both the median, $6,644,261, and average, $7,321,443, of CFOs at companies in the peer group. Below is a breakdown of total compensation of CFOs, including Wells, at Netflix peer companies.

Company Ticker Fiscal Year End Executive Name Total Compensation Rank
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
ATVI 12/31/2017 Spencer Neumann $9,465,807 4
ADBE 11/30/2017 Mark Garrett $7,315,153 8
AMC Networks Inc.
AMCX 12/31/2017 Sean Sullivan $5,751,214 12
Booking Holding Corp
BKNG 12/31/2017 Daniel Finnegan $6,124,468 11
DISH 12/31/2017 Steven Swain $887,646 18
EBAY 12/31/2017 Scott Schenkel $8,482,051 6
EA 3/31/2018 Blake Jorgensen $19,286,041 1
NFLX 12/31/2017 David Wells $5,181,314 13
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
PYPL 12/31/2017 John Rainey $8,631,687 5
CRM 1/31/2018 Mark Hawkins $1,510,909 17
Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.
SNI 12/31/2017 Lori Hickok $2,857,494 16
SIRI 12/31/2017 David Frear $3,708,100 15
TWX 12/31/2017 Howard Averill $6,644,261 9
FOXA 6/30/2017 John Nallen $9,834,533 3
TWTR 12/31/2017 Ned Segal $14,299,528 2
Viacom Inc.
VIAB 9/30/2017 Wade Davis $6,539,216 10
DIS 9/30/2017 Christine McCarthy $8,093,795 7
Workday, Inc.
WDAY 1/31/2018 Robynne Sisco $5,032,626 14

While there is no effective date for Wells to depart, Netflix will begin to conduct a search for his successor. Attracting new talent at the executive level requires competitive pay packages, particularly on the same playing field as peer groups. It would come as no surprise if Netflix offers a pay package above the peer median to its next CFO, regardless of whoever that may be.

Alex Knowlton, Senior Research Analyst at Equilar, authored this post. Please contact Amit Batish at abatish@equilar.com for more information on Equilar research and data analysis

Previous post Next post

knowledge center

Latest Data & Analysis

Read More

executive insider

Subscribe to our Newsletter to stay informed about upcoming events and webinars.

Media Inquiries

(650) 241-6655


equilar insight

Accurate, easy-to-use compensation benchmarking data at your fingertips

Learn More

Follow @equilarinc