The Washington Post

Facebook friends Netflix; CEO Hastings joins the board

Facebook said Thursday that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has joined its board, bringing the know-how of the biggest Web video giant to the world’s biggest online social network.

Hastings joins Silicon Valley and media heavyweights, including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel. Washington Post Co. chairman Donald Graham also sits on Facebook’s board.

Recent data have suggested that the phenomenal growth of Facebook may be slowing. The social networking site’s active user base grew 1.7 percent in May, about half its typical monthly growth rate.

But it’s unclear how much that matters, given that Facebook — with more than 600 million users — has become the defacto global social network for people who want to connect online to share pictures, stories, videos and personal connections.

With the addition of Hastings, Facebook gains the expertise of the entertainment industry’s most successful online streaming video company.

“Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive. “He has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day.”

Hastings also sits on the board of Microsoft, an early investor in Facebook.

“Facebook is propelling a fundamental change in how people connect with each other and share all kinds of content,” Hastings said. “I’m looking forward to working with Mark and the rest of the board to help Facebook take advantage of all the opportunities ahead.”

Related stories:

As Netflix evolves, it becomes telecom’s biggest threat

Facebook hires former White House spokesman Joe Lockhart

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



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