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Netflix appoints Activision Blizzard exec as CFO

Netflix has named Activision Blizzard’s chief financial officer, Spencer Neumann, as the successor to its outgoing CFO David Wells. 

The streaming giant has confirmed that Neumann will take up his new post in early 2019. 

The news comes just days after US computer videogame company Activision Blizzard disclosed in an SEC filing that it “intends to terminate Mr. Neumann’s employment for cause unrelated to the company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures”.

The filing says that Neumann has been placed on paid leave of absence “pending an opportunity for him to demonstrate why cause does not exist to terminate his employment or why termination of his employment is not otherwise justified.” The reason for this action is not stated.

Netflix announced in August 2018 that Wells would step down as CFO after helping the company to choose his replacement and following a transition period. Wells joined Netflix in 2004 and has served as CFO since 2010.

Wells said at the time that he would like to take on a “big challenge” and focus on philanthropy. In a statement he said: “After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed [Hastings, Netflix CEO], we agreed that with Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company.”

Neumann has been CFO of Activision Blizzard – the company behind games such as Call of Duty and Overwatch – since May 2017. Before this, he worked in a number of roles at The Walt Disney Company, latterly for five years as the chief financial officer and executive vice president of Global Guest Experience of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.