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- Netflix’s content chief, Ted Sarandos, addressed a Wall Street Journal report from October that called the company’s work culture “ruthless” and “demoralizing.”
- “That sounds like a really terrible place to work,” Sarandos said.
- He said that people “love conflict” and love to “create conflict.”
Netflix’s content chief, Ted Sarandos, addressed a Wall Street Journal report that called the company’s work culture “ruthless, demoralizing and transparent to the point of dysfunctional,” at Variety’s annual Dealmakers Breakfast on Thursday.
The story, published in October, was based on anecdotes from more than 70 former and current employees. It reported that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings routinely performs a “keeper test” that he used to fire his product chief and longtime friend, Neil Hunt, last year.
Some managers also told The Journal they felt pressured into firing people or “risk looking soft.”
“That sounds like a really terrible place to work,” Sarandos said Thursday.
Sarandos added, “I don’t know where that came from. I think people love conflict, and people love to talk about conflict and create conflict.”
He used an example of how he recently spoke at a conference in New York and praised the theatrical experience, but headlines focused on his criticism of long theatrical windows (how long a theater shows a film before it is available on home release or streaming).
Here’s how Netflix officially responded to the report at the time in a statement to Business Insider:
“We believe strongly in maintaining a high performance culture and giving people the freedom to do their best work. Fewer controls and greater accountability enable our employees to thrive, making smarter, more creative decisions, which means even better entertainment for our members. While we believe parts of this piece do not reflect how most employees experience Netflix, we’re constantly working to learn and improve.”