Netflix has hired CFO Spencer Neumann mere days after Activision Blizzard fired him as CFO.
Activision Blizzard firing Neumann had rounded the news cycle as an inevitability several days earlier, with reports coming out that Netflix was poaching the publisher’s CFO. Activision later confirmed that it fired Neumann after discovering that the executive was looking for a new employer, according to CNBC.
Neumann joined Activision as CFO in May 2017 after five years as CFO and executive VP of global customer experience with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Neumann has previous experience in the TV industry after a stint as executive vice president with ABC from 2001 to 2004. During that time, he also served as CFO of the Walt Disney Internet Group from 1999 to 2001.
“Netflix is a singular brand, and I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to work with the Netflix team and all of our stakeholders to build on the company’s exceptional track record of success and innovation,” Neumann said in a statement.
While Neumann was CFO at Activision Blizzard, the company earned a record amount from microtransactions, totaling $4 billion in revenue during 2017, and both entries in the Call of Duty series continued to be best-sellers.
However, 2018 wasn’t all roses for Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was not without its controversies, eschewing a traditional single-player experience and forcing players to purchase a season pass if they wanted to get additional content. Another major property, Destiny 2, didn’t sell as well as Activision Blizzard had anticipated, and the Diablo Immortal reveal royally ticked off longtime fans of the series.
Neumann is stepping into the CFO role at a company that recently showed a record negative free cash flow. Despite that, investors are continuing to bet on Netflix in a big way, with the streaming service reportedly spending $8 billion on producing original content in just 2018.