Netflix Adds Warner Bros. Exec As Its New Chief Marketing Officer

Netflix announced that it has named former Warner Bros. executive Kelly Bennett as its chief marketing officer, six months after it lost its last longtime marketing head Leslie Kilgore.

After 12 years on the job, Kilgore stepped down from the position in January. The resignation occurred after Netflix received an unprecedented uproar over a split of its streaming-only and DVD-by-mail services, a rate hike due to the separation, and the kerfuffle surrounding the re-branding of the DVD business, which it later backed off from.

While the moves were driven by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the company’s communication with its customers proved to be the company’s real downfall. Recently, the company has been in the midst of a turnaround, but it was still in need of a new marketing chief.

Bennett, Netflix’s new CMO, comes to the company after nearly a decade at Warner Bros. Working at the pictures group, he was VP of Interactive, Worldwide Marketing, where he led international online campaigns for Warner Bros. movies. Prior to that, he ran digital marketing for the studio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

With that in mind, Bennett is well-positioned not just to help Netflix rebuild its brand in the U.S., but could also be instrumental in the company’s international expansion. Netflix has launched its streaming video service in Canada, Latin America, and the U.K., but its new markets have been slower to develop than it might have liked so far. Having someone like Bennett, who has a strong background in international marketing could help change that.