30/09/2022

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Netflix Hires EA Exec Ken Barker as Principal Accounting Officer

Netflix has tapped longtime Electronic Arts finance executive Ken Barker as principal accounting officer, reporting to CFO Spencer Neumann.

Netflix disclosed the hiring of Barker in an SEC filing Monday. Barker starts at Netflix on June 27.

”Mr. Barker is assuming the role of Principal Accounting Officer from Spencer Neumann, who continues to serve as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Principal Financial Officer,” the Netflix filing says.

Previously, the primary accounting exec at Netflix was JC Berger, VP of finance and global controller, who worked at the company for the past 15 years. Berger’s last day at Netflix was June 10.

Barker, 55, comes from games company Electronic Arts, most recently as senior VP finance since August 2021, and as SVP and chief accounting officer from June 2003 to August 2021. He had worked at EA since 2003. Prior to joining EA, Mr. Barker worked at Sun Microsystems as corporate controller and at Deloitte as an audit partner.

Barker joins Netflix as the company has entered into a new — and unfamiliar — period of cost-cutting. As part of efforts to rein in costs, the company last month laid off 150 employees, mostly in the U.S., coming after a trimmed 25 positions in its marketing group.

Netflix surprised investors by reporting a net loss of 200,000 subscribers for the first quarter, and projected dropping another 2 million in Q2. On the streamer’s Q1 earnings interview in April, Neumann said the company would be “responsible in terms of how we manage the business” and said “we’re pulling back on some of our spend growth across both content and non-content spend, but still growing our spend and still investing aggressively into that long-term opportunity.”

Per Netflix’s filing, Barker will receive an annual base salary of $2.4 million and a $600,000 annual stock option allowance under Netflix’s stock option program.

Barker serves on the board of directors of non-profit organization AbilityPath and on the accounting advisory board for the University of Notre Dame. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Notre Dame.

Neumann, who was previously CFO of games company Activision Blizzard and a former Disney finance exec, was named Netlfix’s CFO in January 2019.

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