Reed Hastings to Steve Ballmer: Sorry, It's Over

About an hour after market close last night, Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) issued a press release announcing changes to its board of directors. And that would be routine, expect for the man leaving: Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix (NAS: NFLX) and a director since March 2007.

"Reed has been a terrific board member, and his insights and experience have really helped guide us through a critical period of transformation for both Microsoft and the industry," CEO Steve Ballmer said in the press release.

He didn't name a replacement in announcing the news, though Microsoft needs one: Hastings served as the company's lead independent director.

Either one of Mr. Softy's newest board members -- John W. Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments and former CEO of Symantec (NAS: SYMC) , and Steve Luczo, chief of Seagate Technology (NAS: STX) -- could fill the vacancy Hastings is leaving to address other matters.

"I've decided to reduce the number of boards I serve on, so that I can focus on Netflix and on my education work," Hastings said in the press release.

His agenda includes serving on the boards of Facebook (NAS: FB) and the non-profit Startup America Partnership. And then, of course, there is Netflix, which is battling not only a tough competitor in (NAS: AMZN) but also a tossed salad of divergent analyst views.

In the meantime, Mr. Softy will get by with nine board members, all of whom will seek re-election when the company holds its annual meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Nov. 28. Ballmer could also use the event to name a new lead independent director.

The article Reed Hastings to Steve Ballmer: Sorry, It's Over originally appeared on

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.