While headlines are often designed to provoke interest, the above does not suggest problems at Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) but rather the industry standard for executives to compensate themselves for a job well done. And there is little question that Netflix has enjoyed tremendous gains over the last year. Granted, it was also Reed Hastings that nearly took down the company with an ill-contrived change in the company’s pricing structure.


It was, after all, Hastings’ misstep that saw Icahn come into Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) with a large position and the intention of forcing Hastings out. Clearly, both men are quite pleased that these “best laid plans” failed to materialize, and Hastings must also be quite pleased that the stock is enjoying the rise it ahs seen as his options come fast and furious now that he has been at the company for ten years.

It should also be noted that this is not a surprise stock sale, but rather, something that the company announced early in the year when they noted in a letter to shareholders that….

Starting in July, Reed [Hastings] has some 10-year employee options expiring every month, and he plans to sell upon forced-exercise. He has no other sales planned.

Selling Spree Welcomed by Some Investors

The use of the word some is a touch comical given that some in this case is 15,238 shares underlying options for the transaction completed this week.

Hastings famously went on a selling spree prior to making his last sale in May of last year. Others, however, have not gone the same prudent route. This includes Netflix’s content guru, Theodore “Hollywood” Sarandos.

Reed Hastings Ten Years at Netflix

Hastings’ ten years at Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) couldn’t have come at a better time for the hot/cold CEO. The Street continues to smile on Netflix despite suggestions that the stock is horribly overpriced. One can’t blame CEO’s for exercising options that were built into their compensation package.

Many, including myself, have been quite high on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) in the last few months although its quite possible that we still view the company through rose-colored glasses on occasion. While this might be excusable for journalists, we hope that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s executives aren’t recklessly making decisions as they read their own favorable press in a quest to become the next HBO.