Netflix Names Activision Blizzard Veteran as CFO

Netflix logo - Netflix event - Getty-H 2017
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Activision is replacing Spencer Neumann with its chief corporate officer, Dennis Durkin.

Netflix has named Spencer Neumann, Activision Blizzard's CFO, as its new chief financial officer, replacing outgoing CFO David Wells. 

The hiring, first reported by Reuters, comes as Activision disclosed via a securities filing that Neumann would be put on paid leave, the Wall Street Journal reported. While no specific reason for his termination was given, it was said that he would be let go "for cause."

Neumann is expected to start at the streaming platform in early 2019. Wells announced in August that he planned to step down from the role of CFO, which he has held since 2010.

"Spencer is a stellar entertainment executive and we're thrilled that he will help us provide amazing stories to people all over the world," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. "I also want to again say thank you to David Wells, on behalf of the company and our shareholders, for his invaluable contributions at Netflix over the past 14 years."

Neumann added in a statement, "Netflix is a singular brand, and I'm excited and honored for the opportunity to work with the Netflix team and all of our stakeholders to build on the company’s exceptional track record of success and innovation."

Netflix currently has 130 million subscribers worldwide. It brought in revenue of nearly $4 billion during the third quarter of 2018 and had income of 89 cents per share. 

Activision announced Jan. 2 that it will replace Neumann with chief corporate officer Dennis Durkin, who served in the role of CFO from 2012 to 2017. In November, Activision Blizzard, which is behind such best-selling game franchises as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, announced that it had beat third-quarter earnings expectations with $1.51 billion in revenue. However, net revenues were down from the same quarter the previous year. 

"Dennis is a leader with unimpeachable integrity and exemplary character who displays impeccable judgment," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "He is a seasoned leader known for driving financial and operational excellence. We missed having him in a more day-to-day operational and financial role and are glad to have him back as CFO. He brings an engaging and rigorous approach to the CFO role and is highly regarded by the analyst and investor communities, our business partners and his colleagues. His deep understanding of our industry, and long-established working relationships within the finance organization will ensure a seamless transition."

Jan. 2, 9:12 a.m. Updated with Netflix announcement; Durkin reappointment.