Netflix names Skype’s Libertelli to head Washington office


Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

Libertelli was the head of North and South American government regulations for Skype, the Internet voice and video service that pushed for the creation of Internet access, or net neutrality, rules at the Federal Communications Commission. He replaces Michael Drobac, who is leaving Netflix to launch an Internet-based health care startup.

Netflix has more recently argued against business practices by Internet service providers to charge users through data tiers. Chief executive Reed Hastings has said that broadband data caps could deter users from viewing videos on the Internet.

The company has also advocated for reforming the 1998 video rental privacy rule that is preventing Netflix from partnering with Facebook and other social media services.

“Christopher is a seasoned public affairs executive with great insight into the global regulatory issues that Internet-based companies like Netflix face,” David Hyman, Netflix’s general counsel, said in a statement.

Netflix expanded its Washington office in October as it sets its sites on global expansion.

Libertelli served as legal adviser to former FCC Chairman Michael Powell before joining Skype seven years ago.

Drobac’s great grandfather, the founder of Kaiser Steel and Aluminum, created the Kaiser Family Foundation, which oversees Kaiser Permanente’s network of hospitals.

Related:

Netflix abandons separate DVD, online streaming plans

As telecoms evolve, Netflix is its biggest threat

Mobile stays, cable TV goes in tough economic times

This post originally misstated which government agency was pushed for net neutrality rules. It was the FCC, not the FTC.

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.

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