Netflix’s Reed Hastings joins Forbes list of richest Americans for the first time

Netflix CEO and founder Reed Hastings

Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings is among 22 newcomers to this year’s Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

That’s certainly rarefied air, considering the price of admission in 2017 went up nearly 18 percent to $2 billion.

Forbes said Hastings had a net worth of $2.2 billion as of the close of the trading on Wall Street on Sept. 22 when the rankings were finalized for publication. He’s probably even richer now: Netflix shares are about 8 percent higher.

After the bell on Monday, Netflix reported better-than-expected subscriber growth, with the video streaming service adding 5.3 million customers in the third quarter. Netflix also beat expectations on quarterly earnings while basically matching on revenue.

On the content side, Hastings-led Netflix pegged its budget for movies and TV shows at $7 billion to $8 billion for next year. That’s up from more than $6 billion this year and $5 billion in 2016.

Netflix won 20 Emmy awards last month for original shows including “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” “House of Cards,” “Master of None” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Earlier this year, Hastings added the streaming company’s first Academy Award, winning for best short-subject documentary for “The White Helmets” about rescue workers in war-torn Syria.

Hastings’ tenure as CEO and the Netflix’s stock price have not always been rosy.

In 2011, a misstep in transitioning from a DVD mail rental business to streaming video cost the company dearly as shares tanked on Wall Street. It took years to get back on track.

But since the late-2011 split-adjusted lows of under $10, the stock has gained about 1,900 percent, closing Monday at about $202 per share.

The company said Monday it now has about 109.3 million subscribers globally.

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