Spencer Neumann [ CFO ] parts ways with Activision Blizzard; joins Netflix

Activision Blizzard has fired Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann. As per the filing, the reason for the termination of his contract was ‘unrelated to the Company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures’. The announcement did have an impact on the performance of the Activision Blizzard stock price. The Activision Blizzard shares dropped 1% post the release of this announcement. Spencer is now on paid leave from Activision Blizzard.

The company will bring back Dennis Durkin to the CFO position. Dennis has experience working with Activision Blizzard in the CFO capacity. He was the CFO for a five-year term from 2012 to 2017. According to Wall Street Journal, Netflix is set to poach the former CFO in a similar capacity.

Who is Spencer Neumann?

Spencer Neumann has served as our Chief Financial Officer since May 2017. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Neumann held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, most recently serving as the chief financial officer and executive vice president of Global Guest Experience of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, from 2012 until May 2017. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Neumann worked at the private equity firms of Providence Equity Partners and Summit Partners.

Prior to that, Mr. Neumann held several other roles with Disney, which he initially joined in 1992, including executive vice president of the ABC Television Network from 2001 to 2004 and chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Internet Group from 1999 to 2001. He is also a member of the national board of directors of Make-A-Wish America. Mr. Neumann holds a B.A. degree in economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

Netflix with a focus on more Originals

Netflix is focussing on producing more of its own movies. Their recent film, Roma was one of the more critically acclaimed movies of the year. It also received a nomination for the Oscars, a rare feat for the streaming giant. This comes at a time when the mainstream media seems to be more accepting of Netflix. It competes with traditional cable networks.

Roma: One of Netflix Originals which has received critical acclaim all over the world.

They want to have a CFO based out of Los Angeles in order to focus on production finance. Spencer Neumann will replace David Wells who has been with Netflix for a period of 14 years. Activision Blizzard clarified that Spencer Neumann’s termination is “unrelated to the company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures.”.

The filing reports that Spencer Neumann has already collected $9.47 million in total compensation from his former company.

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