Hastings says he wants to spend more time on his company — and his time already is drained, as he also serves on the boards of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Dreambox Learning, the Knowledge Is Power Program, and the California Charter Schools Association.
Despite enjoying a nice recent run in its stock, Netflix certainly could use the help and attention from Hastings. The company has experienced slowing growth as well as competitive pressures from Amazon‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime service and Coinstar‘s (NASDAQ:CSTR) Redbox, among others. Not to mention, the costs of striking premium content deals have escalated, further cramping Netflix’s appeal.
However, there might be another reason for Hastings departure centering on speculation that Microsoft might become a rival. The company’s Xbox platform has been a key growth driver for Netflix; some wonder whether Microsoft shouldn’t just take the next step and offer its own video service.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.