In every generation, there are innovations that not only go on to make a fortune for its pioneers but go further to change the trajectory of socio-cultural engagements. Reed Hastings with his pioneering of Netflix – the American internet entertainment service that boasts more than 130 million subscribers in over 190 countries has cemented himself in the history of the 21st century.
Hastings alongside Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix and the company since its inception in 1997 has gone on to reshape the consumption of digital media content all over the world. Learn more about Reed’s bio, family, how he became rich, and other facts below.
Reed Hastings Bio
Reed was born on the 8th of October 1960 to Wilmot Reed Hastings and Joan Amory in Boston, Massachusetts. For his early education, he was enrolled into Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge from whence he joined the Marine Corps officer training. He never got to be commissioned and opted to join the services of the Peace Corps.
His stint at the Peace Corps took him to Swaziland where he taught mathematics in a school between 1983 and 1985. He attributes some of his entrepreneurial drives to his time in Africa. On his return from his adventure in Africa, he enrolled at the prestigious Stanford University for a postgraduate degree in Computer Science. He graduated in 1988 with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 1988.
Soon after his graduation, he set up his first company – Pure Software, an outfit to design products to troubleshoot software in 1991. The growth of the company exposed Hastings’s lack of managerial acumen and at some point had to ask his board to replace him with someone with managerial expertise, a request that was turned down by the board.
Reed Hastings had to embark on a journey to learn the ropes of management on the job. The company was taken public in 1995. The following year Pure Software merged with Atria Software to form Pure Atria. The merger sought to fuse Pure Softwares capacities for software bug detection with Atrias’s expertise in managing complex software systems. Within the new structure, Hastings was made Chief Technical Officer.
A few months into the merger, Hastings left Pure Atria after selling his stake to Rational Software Corporation for $700 million, and in 1997 he and Marc Randolph started Netflix initially as a film rental by mail service. Reed Hastings invested $2.5 million in startup cash for the takeoff of Netflix.
As at April 1998, Netflix was the world’s first online DVD rental store boasting of 30 employees. Over the years Netflix has expanded its services across the world. The company currently has a market capitalization of over $130 billion and revenues of $15.794 billion as of 2018. Netflix employs over 5,400 people.
How Did He Become So Rich?
There is really no “single” reason why Reed Hastings has amassed so much wealth over the last decade. The answer lies in a combination of a myriad of reasons. For starters, Hastings is one of the smartest and innovative billionaires in Silicon Valley. His decision-making prowess and unconventional management techniques are things that will leave even the smartest of businessmen scratching their heads.
One of the reasons behind his wealth has been the exceptional growth of Netflix and its subscriber base across over 193 countries of the world.
Hastings’s personal net worth has grown impressively over the last five years, recording an astronomical 300% increase in the last five years. As of June 2014, Hastings was worth $1 billion, by March 2016 it was $1.2 billion, after 12 months that figure rose to $1.8 billion. By September 2017, his net worth was $2.2 billion. The biggest leap was to come between September 2017 and May 2018, (a space of 8 months) when he amassed an additional $1.4 billion hereby putting his personal fortune at $3.6 billion.
Reed Hastings personally owns just 2.5% of Netflix’s stock and employs very smart techniques to sell them off and re-invest, a practice that has seen him rake in approximately $600 million (after taxes) in recent times.
Reed Hastings Net Worth
Beyond his personal stake in Netflix, Hastings sits on the board of Tech giant Facebook where he purchased 47,846 shares which are worth almost $10 million. His personal fortune accrues from his stocks in Netflix, Facebook, and the money he made from his first startup – Pure Software. Reed Hastings currently has an estimated net worth of $4 billion.
Wife and Children
Reed Hastings wedded Patricia ‘Patty’ Ann Quillin in 1991. Patty is a graduate of Cornell University and at some point worked with the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. A very private person, Patty shares her husband’s passion for philanthropy. The couple has announced that they’d be giving out half of their wealth to a charity initiative. They have two children whose identities have remained private.