Readying For An IPO, Facebook Adds Netflix Founder And CEO Reed Hastings To Board

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Facebook has just named Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings to its board. We’ve pasted the release below.

Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997 with then CEO Marc Randolph and launched the movie subscription service in 1999. Prior to that, Hastings founded Pure Atria Software, where he was CEO until the company was acquired by Rational Software Corporation in 1997. Hastings also serves on Microsoft’s board, which is interesting considering that Microsoft is also an investor in Facebook.

In the release, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says this of Hastings: “Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV…He has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day.”

Other members of Facebook’s board include Marc Andreessen, Jim Breyer, Donald E. Graham and and Peter Thiel (and Zuckerberg).

So why would Zuckerberg add Hastings to Facebook’s board? Well, Hastings has experience of taking a company public. Netflix IPO’d in 2002, and we all know Facebook is looking to go public in the next year or so. Hastings’ experience will certainly help Facebook navigate the process. As we mentioned above, Hastings also has experience serving on the board of another public company, Microsoft.

We also know that Hastings and Netflix are planning a full-on social integration, primarily focused on adding Facebook’s social elements to the movie rental site. Hastings’ experience could also assist with Facebook’s entrence into movie streaming, though it’s unclear if that initiative will compete against Netflix.

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Facebook® announced today that Reed Hastings, chairman and chief executive officer of Netflix Inc., has joined the company’s board of directors.

“Reed is an entrepreneur and technologist who has led Netflix to transform the way people watch movies and TV,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “He has built a culture of continuous rapid innovation, something we share and work hard to build every day.”

“Facebook is propelling a fundamental change in how people connect with each other and share all kinds of content,” said Hastings. “I’m looking forward to working with Mark and the rest of the board to help Facebook take advantage of all the opportunities ahead.”

With more than 23 million members in the U.S. and Canada, Netflix is the world’s leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. Hastings founded the company in 1997. Earlier in his career, he founded Pure Atria Software, where he was CEO until the company was acquired by Rational Software Corporation in 1997.

Since 2007, Hastings has also been a member of Microsoft Corp.’s board of directors, and is currently lead independent director. He holds an M.S.C.S. degree from Stanford University and a B.A. from Bowdoin College.

Hastings is also an active educational philanthropist and board member of many non-profits. He was president of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004.

In addition to Zuckerberg, Hastings joins current Facebook board members Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz; Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company; and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund.

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