- Netflix has replaced its top advertising executive, Jeremi Gorman, after just a year.
- Her replacement, Netflix exec Amy Reinhard, lacks advertising experience but has the C-suite’s trust.
- Insiders said Gorman faced resistance at a company that has long been opposed to advertising.
Jeremi Gorman, Netflix’s top advertising executive, was replaced after only a year in a surprise shakeup of the company’s nascent advertising business.
Netflix had moved quickly to build its advertising tier, initially enlisting Microsoft as a tech and sales partner to help it launch Basic with Ads last November for $6.99 per month. Under Gorman and VP Peter Naylor, both hired from Snap in August 2022, Netflix began building its own team, and internal salespeople began having more conversations with advertisers.
Netflix appointed Amy Reinhard, VP of studio operations, in Gorman’s place. Reinhard’s title is simply president of advertising, as opposed to Gorman’s title of president of worldwide advertising.
Advertisers have expressed dissatisfaction with Netflix’s ad tier and its slow rate of growth since its launch, and Gorman has promised more ad formats and ways of targeting viewers are on the way.
Netflix contacts presented Gorman’s departure to the advertising community as a way to reduce redundancy between her and Naylor. Insider spoke with a number of people close to the situation.
According to insiders close to the situation, Gorman, a seasoned ad executive who held leadership roles at Amazon and Yahoo before her four-year tenure at Snap, faced internal friction in building the ads business from the product side of Netflix. Netflix’s entry into advertising, announced with apparent haste during an earnings call in April 2022, came after years of staunch company opposition.
“There was a lot of internal resistance to change,” according to one confidant.
According to insiders, the choice of Reinhard to replace Gorman was made to help sell the advertising business internally.
She will report to co-CEO Greg Peters, who has overseen the company’s expansion into advertising as well as gaming. According to an insider, Naylor is still in his position and has the full support of leadership.
Eunice Kim was promoted to chief product officer today, and Elizabeth Stone was promoted to chief technology officer.
Reinhard is an intriguing candidate despite her lack of advertising experience. However, she has been with the company since 2016 and is known as a level-headed executive who is well-versed in Netflix culture. She’s been given more authority over the years, beginning with content acquisition and progressing to consumer products and studio operations. She, like Gorman, has a seat on Netflix’s Lstaff, a group of 20-plus senior executives who make major decisions at the company.
Netflix executives have been careful to emphasize that the company has made progress with advertising sales, but they have also warned that it will be a long time before ads become a significant revenue source — which Netflix has defined as 10% of revenue. To encourage customers to sign up for the ads tier, the company eliminated its lowest-priced ad-free tier this summer.
“We’ve got a long way to go from where we are today to even getting to 10%,” said CFO Spencer Neumann during the company’s most recent earnings call in July. “We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.” We have a lot of tackling and blocking to do.”
Netflix released a statement from Peters in which he credited Gorman with laying the groundwork for the company’s ad business and praised Reinhard for having a “deep understanding of the entertainment business and consumer tastes, as well as the ability to build lasting partnerships across the industry” that are “critical to the success of our ads business.”
Reinhard stated in a statement that she is excited about the opportunity to scale “our advertising business and connect our incredible shows and movies with audiences and brands around the world.”
According to Gorman’s statement, she will “move on to build again” after starting many businesses, “none more exciting than at Netflix.” We’ve assembled a world-class team and laid the groundwork for a business that will last forever.”