Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997 and launched the subscription service in 1999. Netflix grew to one million subscribers in less than four years, and reached 12.3 million subscribers by the end of 2009.
In nine out of ten surveys since 2005 Netflix has been ranked number one in customer satisfaction across all of ecommerce by independent researcher ForeSee Results. In 2010, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) ranked Netflix number one for customer satisfaction among all e-retail, e-brokerage and e-travel sites. In the fall of 2005, Netflix was the winner of Fast Company’s national Customers First Award, with Reed appearing on the cover of the October issue.
Also in 2005, Time magazine added Reed to its “Time 100” list of the 100 most influential global citizens. Newsweek wrote that “Netflix revolutionized the way we watch movies.” In March 2010, Barron’s included Reed among its 30 most respected CEOs of the year.
In March 2007 Reed was appointed to Microsoft Corp.’s board of directors and he was inducted into the Video Business Hall of Fame in December.
Earlier in his career, Reed founded Pure Software, which he built into one of the world’s 50 largest public software companies. After a successful public offering and a number of acquisitions, Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997.
Reed is an active educational philanthropist and board member of many non-profits. In addition, he was President of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. He has led successful statewide political campaigns for more charter public schools and easier passage of local school bonds.
Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSCS degree from Stanford University in 1988. He holds several patents. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland.
Reed Hastings, 49, could have stuck with his first breakthrough idea -- Netflix recently mailed its 2-billionth DVD. Instead, he's swiftly embraced streaming online and direct to TV via half a dozen Netflix-ready devices made by LG, Samsung, Microsoft, and others. Hastings says his approach is to "get a mix of inspirations," test innovations, and let the customer decide. So far, it seems to be working: Netflix's stock price has doubled since last November, reaching record highs.