Reed Hastings to Step Down From Facebook Board

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Reed Hastings

The social network has nominated PayPal executive Peggy Alford to the board. She would become its first African-American woman director.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is vacating his seat on the Facebook board of directors. 

The executive, who has served on the Facebook board for the last eight years, will not be nominated for re-election, the social networking giant revealed Friday afternoon. Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is also leaving his post as a Facebook director. 

In their place, Facebook is nominating PayPal executive Peggy Alford for a directorship. A vote on her appointment will be taken during the company's May 30 stockholders meeting. 

Alford currently serves as senior vp core markets at PayPal, the digital payments giant. She has an existing relationship with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, having previously served as CFO and head of operations at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that he began with his wife, Priscilla Chan. Alford has also held leadership roles at Rent.com and its parent company, eBay. If she is appointed to the role, she would become the first African-American woman on Facebook's board. She would also become the second female independent director on the current board alongside Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann. (Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also sits on the company's board.)

"Peggy is one of those rare people who's an expert across many different areas — from business management to finance operations to product development," Zuckerberg said in a statement. "I know she will have great ideas that help us address both the opportunities and challenges facing our company."

Added Alford, "What excites me about the opportunity to join Facebook's board is the company's drive and desire to face hard issues head-on while continuing to improve on the amazing connection experiences they have built over the years." 

The board changes come amid a turbulent period for Facebook, which has struggled to curb the spread of misinformation across its platform. Hastings' departure, meanwhile, coincides with a bigger push by Facebook to become a destination for premium ad-supported video programming that could be seen as competitive to Netflix, though at a much smaller scale. The company has invested in buying up originals like half-hour drama Sorry for Your Loss and a reboot of MTV's The Real World