Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings has revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent time ‘shopping’ themselves around to ‘all the major companies’ before inking a deal with the streaming site – which is said to be worth a whopping $100 million.
The 59-year-old, who is also the co-CEO of the streaming company, praised the ‘smart’ couple for considering all their options before signing a contract with his site, explaining that he believes they ultimately did a deal with Netflix because ‘we put together the best complete package’.
‘I’m so excited about that deal,’ Hastings said during an appearance on CNBC on Wednesday. ‘They’re smart, they were shopping it around across all the major companies and I think we really put together the best complete package.’
Doing a deal: Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings has revealed that ‘smart’ Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘shopped’ themselves to all ‘major companies’ before signing a deal with his site
Goals: Hastings, 59, predicted that the content created by Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, will be some of the ‘most exciting, most viewed’ on Netflix next year
While the billionaire businessman would not share any other information about the specifics of the deal – including how much Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, received – he told host Andrew Ross Sorkin that he predicts their content will be ‘the most exciting’ and ‘most viewed’ on the site next year.
‘It’s going to be epic entertainment,’ he said, explaining: ‘We’re going to do a wide range of entertainment with them. I can’t tell you anymore than that about it at this point, but I think it will be some of the most exciting, most viewed content next year.’
Hastings did address rumors about whether former Suits star Meghan is planning to return to acting and make an appearance in the shows that she and Harry produce, insisting that the couple are entirely focused on ‘being producers’ rather than on-screen talent.
‘The real focus for them is on being producers and on building that production capacity,’ he insisted, while also noting that, despite their limited experience as producers, the couple has ‘developed a great eye for stories’.
‘Epic’: The billionaire businessman shared his ‘excitement’ over the deal – noting that he believes the couple signed with Netflix because ‘we put together the best complete package’
Talented: Hastings revealed that, despite their limited production experience, the couple ‘has developed a great eye for stories’
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings who scored a deal with the Sussexes shares his secrets to business success – including sky-high salaries and being ready to fire ANY member of staff
- Billionaire Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, has shared his business secrets
- Advice is published in No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
- Tips include paying over-the-odds for top talent and ditching holiday allowance
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings shares his tips for building a successful business in a new book.
The billionaire chairman and co-CEO, 59, whose California-based company signed an nine-figure deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offers up advice to would-be moguls in No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, co-authored by Erin Meyer.
Tips include paying over-the-odds for top talent and championing ‘unlimited vacation’ in a bid to attract the very best Gen-Z and millennial employees, who ‘resist punching clocks’, according to an extract published by The Times.
Reed Hastings, 59, whose California-based company signed an nine-figure deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offers up advice to would-be moguls in No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, co-authored by Erin Meyer. Pictured, Hastings in 2018
Business tips from Netflix’s billionaire CEO
Allow unlimited holiday: To attract Gen-Zers and millennials who dislike ‘punching clocks’.
He writes: ‘Removing the policy [of allocated vacation] also reduces bureaucracy and the administrative costs of keeping track of who is out and when.
Most important, the freedom signals to employees that we trust them to do the right thing, which in turn encourages them to behave responsibly.’
Be ready to fire anyone: Hastings champions a so-called ‘keeper test’ whereby executives must continually question whether they would fight to retain members of their staff.
He encourages managers to let go any member of staff they are not willing to fight for.
Pay ‘tremendously’: Entice top talent with salaries that are hard to resist.
Explaining the strategy, he writes: ‘It costs a lot more to lose people and to recruit replacements than to overpay a little in the first place.’
Hastings suggests giving raises before they are asked for in order to keep employees in their roles.
Allow unlimited travel and expenses: But ask employees to think about the company when spending.
He notes: ‘It is not in Netflix’s best interest that the entire content team fly business from LA to Mexico. But if you have to take the redeye from LA to New York and give a presentation the next morning it would likely be in Netflix’s best interest that you fly business, so you don’t have bags under your eyes and slurred speech when the big moment arises.’
There is also more than a touch of ruthlessness to Hastings’ approach, which is perhaps unsurprising for a man who has earned the nickname ‘The Animal’ for his abrasive managerial style and take-no-prisoners business behaviour.
The technology giant has earned a reputation as a ruthless place to work, even by the sharp-elbowed standards of Silicon Valley.
BE READY TO FIRE ANYONE
Hastings champions a so-called ‘keeper test’ whereby executives must continually question whether they would fight to retain members of their staff.
Outlining ‘the test’, he writes: ‘If a person on your team were to quit tomorrow, would you try to change their mind? Or would you accept their resignation, perhaps with a little relief? If the latter, you should give them a severance package now, and look for a star, someone you would fight to keep.’
PAY OVER-THE-ODDS FOR TOP TALENT (BUT NO BONUSES)
In a bid to attract these ‘stars’, Hastings believes in paying ‘exceptional-performing employees’ a ‘tremendous’ amount.
He explains: ‘It is best to have salaries a little higher than necessary, to give a raise before an employee asks for it, to bump up a salary before that employee starts looking for another job, in order to attract and retain the best talent on the market year after year. It costs a lot more to lose people and to recruit replacements than to overpay a little in the first place.’
However he disagrees with bonuses, saying they create uncertainty that can inhibit productivity.
GIVE EVERYONE UNLIMITED HOLIDAY
Outlining the benefits of ‘unlimited vacation’, Hastings adds: ‘Unlimited vacation helps attract and retain top talent, especially Gen Z-ers and millennials, who resist punching clocks.
‘Removing the policy also reduces bureaucracy and the administrative costs of keeping track of who is out and when. Most important, the freedom signals to employees that we trust them to do the right thing, which in turn encourages them to behave responsibly.’
Hastings’ business practices have certainly produced incredible results.
PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
Netflix is now worth some $187 billion and — with 193 million subscribers in 190 countries — is one of the most valuable entertainment companies in the world.
It no longer just distributes films and TV, it makes them. Its portfolio of hits include The Crown, House Of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, Sex Education, Stranger Things and Tiger King, while Netflix movies earned ten nominations at the Oscars last year.
It also pays others to make programmes and this week announced that it had added the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to a growing stable of talent — or, if you prefer, celebrity — which also stretches to Barack and Michelle Obama.
Other recent signings include Game Of Thrones creators, David Benioff and DB Weiss in an agreement worth $200 million.
In a deal rumoured to be worth $150 million — a drop in the ocean given Netflix will spend more than $17 billion this year making and buying shows and films — the Sussexes gush that they will be ‘creating content that informs but also gives hope’ and provide ‘powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens’.
No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer, published Sept 8 by Virgin, £20.