Netflix VP Of Communications Richard Siklos Leaves The Company


EXCLUSIVE: Netflix VP of communications Richard Siklos, a key public-facing figure for the streaming giant since 2017, has just announced his departure, Deadline has learned.

It isn’t clear what Siklos’s next step will be, but after serving in a senior role at Netflix, on top of a seven-year stint as a communications exec at Time Warner, he has more than a few options. Before crossing the Rubicon, Siklos was a well-established journalist known for his coverage of the media business at top-shelf publications like Fortune, The New York Times and Business Week.

Rachel Whetstone, who became chief communications officer at Netflix in 2018, described Siklos as a “skilled communicator” in a statement provided to Deadline. He “strengthened our reputation during a tremendous time of growth, and built a world-class team,” she continued. “He has been a valued and trusted advisor to many across Netflix and we wish him the best.”

The exit follows several in the exec ranks at Netflix of late, especially in the TV group, which has been reshaped since the departure of Cindy Holland in 2020 after an 18-year run. The changes are partly a result of Netflix’s steady growth, in terms of its workforce, subscriber levels and market value, as well as its uniquely transparent culture. In his 2020 book, No Rules Rules, founder and Co-CEO Reed Hastings outlined the company’s approach to personnel and its willingness to make staffing changes at all levels without letting emotion prevail (but with a generous severance package, in most cases).

After an unprecedented wave of direct competitors hit the market in 2019 and 2020 — among them Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max — Netflix saw its subscriber growth moderate and its stock take a hit. But shares have rebounded strongly in recent months, reaching an all-time high of $615.60 in early September. Rivals have sunk billions of dollars into the effort to unseat Netflix, but the company remains the leader in streaming with 209 million subscribers and a new armload of Emmys. Last Sunday, the company equaled a nearly 50-year-old record set by CBS with 44 total wins, including its first two for series — drama for The Crown and limited series for The Queen’s Gambit.

In his role at communications VP, Siklos has focused on the U.S. and Canada, but his efforts are implemented across the nearly 200 global territories where Netflix operates. Among his duties have been serving as chief spokesperson; steering global media for Co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos; and overseeing communications teams across TV and film, corporate functions, and product and technology.

At Time Warner, a company Siklos knew well from the editorial side as a Fortune staffer and a media correspondent, he was VP of Strategic Communications. He handled corporate messaging, branding and communications before decamping once the company’s merger with AT&T was announced.

As a journalist, Siklos made frequent appearances as a TV commentator and wrote two books about Conrad Black, a fallen publishing baron originally from Siklos’s native Canada. From 2001 to 2017, he was an adjunct professor in New York University’s Department of Media, Culture and Communication. He also sits on the board of directors of the CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Foundation.

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