Jonathan Friedland Out as Netflix Communications Chief Following "Insensitive" Comments (Exclusive)

Television

The streaming giant is letting go of its top spokesperson after six years in the role.

Netflix is letting go of its top communications spokesman.

Jonathan Friedland, who's served as the streaming giant's chief communications officer for the past six years, is out at the company amid "insensitive" remarks he made to his team. The former Disney executive first joined Netflix in February 2011 as the vice president of global corporate communications, and was promoted to the top comms role the following year. A replacement for Friedland has yet to be named.

"I’m leaving Netflix after seven years," said Friedland in a statement to The Hollwood Reporter. "Leaders have to be beyond reproach in the example we set and unfortunately I fell short of that standard when I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy. I feel awful about the distress this lapse caused to people at a company I love and where I want everyone to feel included and appreciated. I feel honored to have built a brilliant and diverse global team and to have been part of this collective adventure in building the world’s leading entertainment service.

In his post, Friedland oversaw media and content publicity for the streamer's original series, films and specials in 190 countries around the world. In addition to previously serving as the senior vice president of corporate communications at The Walt Disney Company, Friedland was also formerly a foreign correspondent and editor for the Wall Street Journal and Far Eastern Economic Review.

The shake-up comes as Netflix, led by CEO Reed Hastings, ended the first quarter with 125 million subscribers worldwide, with expectations to add 6.2 million in the second quarter. Just last week, the company's shares closed 3 percet higher to a new record of $404.98, even as the broader markets fell. The platform has been increasingly pushing into international territories and expanding its roster of originals to include more unscripted content of late.

Friendland also tweeted about his exit on Friday:

I feel awful about the distress this lapse caused to people at a company I love and where I want everyone to feel included and appreciated. I feel honored to have built a brilliant and diverse global team and to have been part of our collective adventure.

— jonathan friedland (@jsf33) June 22, 2018 Netflix

(Original source)

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