Netflix CFO David Wells leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After almost eight years in the position
  • Praise for Wells
  • Search for a successor
  • Wells spoke at length and said 79 words

(exechange) — Los Gatos, California, August 13, 2018 — David Wells, finance chief of Netflix, leaves. As announced by Netflix Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, August 13, 2018, David B. Wells leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the video streaming company after almost eight years in the role.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Wells plans to step down after helping the company choose his successor.

Netflix will undertake a search for a successor.

“The right time”

Wells’s departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Wells said: “After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed [Hastings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer], we agreed that with 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.”

Precise information about Wells’s future plans was not immediately available.


Netflix said: “David Wells intends to resign as Netflix’s Chief Financial Officer pending the appointment of his replacement.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Netflix Inc. since July 2018.

Chaired by Reed Hastings

Netflix Inc. is chaired by Reed Hastings.

Wilmot Reed Hastings, Jr., is President of Netflix, Inc. and has been its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1997 and September 1998 respectively. Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997.

In the position of CFO since 2010

David B. Wells has been the Chief Financial Officer at Netflix, Inc. since October 6, 2010.

His responsibilities include a number of operating duties such as customer service, real estate, and employee technology.

Wells has been at Netflix since March 2004, serving in a variety of roles, most recently as VP of Financial Planning & Analysis.

He spent 2 years from July 2015 to July 2017 living and performing his global CFO role from the Netherlands as part of building up Netflix’s European operations.

Prior to joining Netflix, Wells served in progressive roles at Deloitte Consulting from August 1998 to March 2004 and in the non-profit world before getting his MBA.

Wells joined the board of The Trade Desk, a public leading programmatic advertising platform company, in January 2016, and serves as Audit Committee Chair and on the Compensation Committee.

Wells holds an MBA and MPP from The University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia.

Wells intends to stay until his successor takes the role to ensure a smooth transition.


As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor in place, it’s a sign that the move was unexpected and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered David Wells’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 34.2018 ($).