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Netflix announces Ted Sarandos as co-CEO, adds 10 million subscribers in Q2

Netflix HQ in Los Angeles
Netflix HQ in Los Angeles. (Image credit: Netflix)

Big news out of Netflix as it announced its Q2 2020 earnings. First is that it announced the addition of a co-CEO, and it's a familiar name. Ted Sarandos, who also serves as Chief Content Officer, will be co-CEO along with Reed Hastings.

"Ted has been my partner for decades," Hastings said in the letter to shareholders. "This change makes formal what was already informal — that Ted and I share the leadership of Netflix."

Sarandos will continue to serve as CCO.

Netflix also announced that Greg Peters will dual-hat things, a Chief Operating Officer title alongside his role as Chief Product Officer.

"We want Greg to help us stay aligned and effective as we grow so quickly around the world," Hastings wrote.

Meanwhile, Netflix announced that it added some 10.09 million paid subscribers in Q2. That's compared to 2.7 million additions in Q2 2019, and it takes Netflix to 192.95 million paid memberships worldwide.

But while that growth was buoyed in no small part thanks to the global pandemic keeping more people at home, it also will weigh on the back half of the year. Netflix is now forecasting 2.5 million additions in the third quarter. (It added 6.77 million in Q2 2019.)

"Growth is slowing as consumers get through the initial shock of Covid and social restrictions," Hastings wrote.

Netflix 'slowly resuming productions' as the pandemic continues

Like the rest of the entertainment industry, Netflix says it's slowly getting back to the business of making movies and shows following the near-complete shutdown because of COVID-19. Korea never completed closed shop, and production has resumed in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The United States is still somewhat up in the air, though.

Said Hastings: "While we recently resumed production on two films in California and two stop-motion animation projects in Oregon and expect some more of our U.S. productions to get going this quarter, current infection trends create more uncertainty for our productions in the U.S."

While most of the 2020 slate of releases remains "largely intact," 2021 should see "a more second half-weighted content slate in terms of our big titles, although we anticipate the total number of originals for the full year will still be higher than 2020."