Netflix doubles down on CEO Reed Hastings' pay package

Movie streaming company gives its chief a hefty raise for 2013, a year after reducing his compensation in the wake of a botched plan to split the company.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Hector Vivas/Latin Content/Getty Images

Netflix has doubled the compensation package CEO Reed Hastings will receive in 2013 over the current year, the streaming and video rental company revealed today in a regulatory filing.

Hastings will receive $2 million in salary and another $2 million in compensation through stock options, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase is a significant pay bump over 2012, when Hastings received $500,000 in salary and $1.5 million in stock options.

The compensation increase would seem to represent renewed confidence in Hastings, whose stock option allowance was reduced in December 2011 following a botched plan that year to split the company in two -- a plan that upset investors and caused a subscriber revolt. After a price hike led to a number of subscriber cancellations, the company announced plans to spin off its DVD-by-mail operations into a new company called Qwikster -- plans that were scuttled after only three weeks.

Stock in the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company closed today at $89.33, up 22 percent from a year ago but off its 52-week high of $133.43. The company traded as low as $52.81 this summer but got a boost in the fall when activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he had acquired a 10 percent stake and had considered launching a hostile takeover bid for Netflix.

 

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