Neil Hunt, one of the chief architects of Netflix Inc.’s streaming service, is leaving after 18 years. Greg Peters, a Netflix veteran who works with telecom providers and consumer electronics makers around the world, will replace Hunt in July, the company said Friday in a statement. Peters oversaw the 2015 expansion into Japan and worked under Hunt as the head of streaming and partnerships. The company didn’t give a reason for Hunt’s departure and didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Hunt oversaw everything from the design of the Netflix service to the algorithm that spits out recommendations and managed the technical challenges of introducing the world’s most popular paid video service to 190 countries. Investors tend to overlook the difficulties in delivering high-definition video online to millions of homes worldwide, fixating instead of the company’s multi-billion-dollar annual budget for movies and TV shows.
“Greg and Neil have collaborated through the years to make the Netflix experience all over the world absolutely incredible,” Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in the statement. Hunt worked at Pure Software, which was founded by Hastings before Netflix.
Netflix is scheduled to report first-quarter results on April 17. The shares are up 16 percent this year, compared with 5.2 percent for the S&P Index. Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer, is also leaving. She joined Netflix’s human resources department in 2007 and took her current post in 2012.