Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, gestures during an event of the Fundacion Telmex Mexico Siglo XXI (Telmex Foundation Mexico XXI Century) in Mexico City, Mexico, September 6, 2019. (REUTERS/Edgard Garrido)
$34,650,000, that's the exact amount that Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos will earn in 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Despite the streaming platform's huge success this year, Netflix's bosses will receive nearly the same amount as in 2020.
The compensation consists of a base salary and stock options. Netflix founder Reed Hastings will receive $650,000 in fixed salary and $34 million in stock options, while Ted Sarandos will take $20 million in base salary and add $14,650,000 in stock options. This will be Ted Sarandos' first full year as co-CEO of the platform since he was promoted in July 2020.
However, according to these forecasts, this would mean a small decline in revenues from the year 2019. The US company disclosed in April 2020 that Hastings had earned $38.6 million while Sarandos received $34.7 million in 2019.
Netflix has benefited greatly from the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a boon for streaming platforms. With over 197 million users worldwide, Netflix's stocks recorded a 63 percent growth this year.
With the health crisis and the economic downturn, media CEO incomes are more than ever under public scrutiny. Last March, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced drastic cuts in the salaries of the company's top executives, starting with his own, which he reduced by 50 percent to offset losses related to the closure of Disney theme parks. Meanwhile, former Disney CEO and current chairman of the management board Bob Iger waived his base salary entirely, while vice-presidents, senior vice-presidents and executive vice-presidents had to cut their salaries by 20 percent, 25 percent and 30 percent respectively.
Recently, Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company along with his brother Walt, criticized executives' indecent pay, comparing their renumeration to the hourly wage rate of ordinary employees. As a reminder, in 2019, Iger earned $47.5 million (with stock options, salary and bonuses).