EXCLUSIVE: Netflix vice president of communications Richard Siklos, a leading figure in the streaming giant since 2017, has just announced his departure, Deadline has learned.
It’s unclear what Siklos’ next step will be, but after holding a leadership role at Netflix, in addition to seven years as a communications manager at Time Warner, he has more than a few options. Prior to crossing the Rubicon, Siklos was a well-established journalist known for his coverage of the media industry in leading publications like Fortune, The New York Times and Business week.
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Rachel Whetstone, who became director of communications at Netflix in 2018, described Siklos as a “skilled communicator” in a statement provided to Deadline. He “has strengthened our reputation during a period of tremendous growth and has built a world class team,” she continued. “He has been a valued and trusted advisor to many Netflix users and we wish him the best.”
The outing follows several in Netflix’s executive ranks in recent times, particularly in the TV group, which has been reshaped since Cindy Holland left in 2020 after an 18-year run. The changes are in part the result of Netflix’s continued growth, in terms of workforce, number of subscribers and market value, as well as its particularly transparent culture. In his book 2020, No rules Rules, Founder and Co-CEO, Reed Hastings, described the company’s approach to staffing and its willingness to make staff changes at all levels without letting the emotion prevail (albeit with a generous allowance of departure, in most cases).
After an unprecedented wave of direct competitors in the market in 2019 and 2020 – including Disney +, Apple TV +, and HBO Max – Netflix has seen its moderate subscriber growth and stock take a hit. But stocks have rebounded sharply in recent months, hitting an all-time high of $ 615.60 in early September. Rivals have invested billions of dollars in the effort to topple Netflix, but the company remains the streaming leader with 209 million subscribers and a new armful of Emmys. Last Sunday, the company tied a nearly 50-year CBS record with 44 total wins, including its first two for the series – drama for The crown and limited series for The Queen’s Gambit.
In his role as vice president of communications, Siklos has focused on the United States and Canada, but his efforts are implemented in the nearly 200 global territories where Netflix operates. Among his duties, he was the chief spokesperson; leading global media for co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos; and overseeing communications teams across television and film, corporate functions, and products and technology.
At Time Warner, a company that Siklos knew well from the editorial side as a Fortune a staff member and media correspondent, he was vice president of strategic communications. He handled corporate messaging, branding and communications before decamping once the company’s merger with AT&T was announced.
As a journalist, Siklos made frequent appearances as a television commentator and wrote two books about Conrad Black, a fallen publishing baron from Siklos’ native Canada. From 2001 to 2017, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He also sits on the board of directors of the CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Foundation.
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