In filings with the SEC this morning, Netflix disclosed compensation for its top exec team and said it plans to raise $1.5 billion in debt to fund its operations.
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer and architect of the company’s heavy-spending programming strategy, made $22.4 million in 2017, up 18% from the $18.9 million he collected in 2016. CEO Reed Hastings saw a more modest increase of 5% to $24.4 million. The next highest-paid exec was Neil Hunt, who is no longer with Netflix. The former chief product officer took home just shy of $11 million in 2017, up 25% from $8.8 million in 2016.
By issuing the senior notes, Netflix said, the company “intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include content acquisitions, production and development, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.” The interest rate and other terms of the debt will be determined with each individual purchaser of the notes.
The SEC filings also revealed the annual shareholder meeting will be June 6. Four board members are standing for re-election, including Anne Sweeney, the former president of the Disney/ABC Television Group who has been on Netflix’s board since 2015.
Netflix has transformed the TV and movie space in recent years with what competitors have described as “shock and awe” levels of spending. The company is shelling out some $8 billion in the current year, with marketing dollars taking the total costs past $10 billion. Wall Street has thus far rewarded the approach. The company’s stock has risen 63% in 2018 to date, fueled by breakthrough quarterly earnings reports in January and again last week, which documented the company’s rise to 125 million global subscribers.