Netflix said Thursday that chief marketing officer Kelly Bennett is exiting the post he has had since 2012. He has been a key cog in the growth of original programming at the streaming giant, which went from 26 million subscribers at the time of his hire to more than 139 million worldwide now.
The company said Bennett will remain in a transitional period until a new CMO is found.
“Kelly Bennett has been absolutely transformational for us as we expanded our member base in the US and globally, and particularly as we transitioned into being a leader in original series and films,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a release announcing the change. “He has been a source of inspiration both inside Netflix and in presenting our brand to the world, and we are thankful for his enormous contributions.”
Bennett was a digital marketing executive at Warner Bros when Hastings brought him in just at Netflix was in the beginning stages of its original programming push. At Warners for nine years rising to VP Interactive, World Wide Marketing, he had spearheaded the international online campaigns for the Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes movies as well The Dark Knight Rises.
“The past seven years have been the most rewarding of my professional life, and we are at the top of our game, which is why this was the right moment for me to retire,” Bennett said. “I am immensely proud of the team we have built and all that has been accomplished during my time here — and I will continue to be Netflix’s greatest fan.”
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