Netflix Snuggles Up to Hollywood

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) just cozied up a little closer to Hollywood.

The video-rental innovator is losing board member Greg Stanger, who is taking a CFO job at a college textbook rental outfit and is resigning to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Board members come and go, but Stanger is the chairman of the audit committee for Netflix -- the replacement had to come with serious financial chops.

And that's exactly what Netflix is getting. Stanger's successor will be Hollywood heavyweight Ann Mather, who was the CFO for Pixar before Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) acquired the studio. But that's not all; Mather was also the go-to person at Pixar when talking to Disney about distribution agreements, and the lessons learned in that role should come in handy in her Netflix position. She also worked for Disney and several other movie studios before joining Pixar, so her industry credentials are beyond reproach.

Mather is also the audit chair for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) , as well as at least two smaller electronic commerce businesses. It looks as if she's the person you want to go to when you want rock-solid financial guidance in the e-biz sector.

She also played similar roles at online shoe retailer Zappos and price-comparison service Shopping.com before both outfits were acquired by Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) , respectively. A cynic might surmise that Netflix is looking for a buyer, given Mather's track record.

That ain't me, though. Rather than a sellout bid, I see this as an instant upgrade of an important position in the company's strategic guidance body. Mather's industry connection will be invaluable as Netflix wrestles with digital license issues over the next few years, and her decades of financial expertise would be welcome anywhere.

Los Gatos just moved a little closer to Hollywood. Can you feel the earth move? Report the rumblings in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, Netflix, and Disney, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Amazon.com, Walt Disney, eBay, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on eBay. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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