Shares of Netflix (NFLX) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) dropped Wednesday amidst reports that the latter terminated its chief financial officer Spencer Neumann, a veteran in media finance who reportedly joined the video streaming giant as its finance chief.
An official statement from Activision revealed that action was taken against Neumann for violating his legal obligations to the company. Activision also appointed Dennis Durkin as the new chief financial officer, effective immediately. Durkin, who had earlier held the post of chief financial officer from 2012 to 2017, will be reporting to chief executive officer Bobby Kotick.
According to sources, Netflix is in the final stages of appointing Neumann as the chief financial officer to succeed David Wells who has been serving it for a long time. The company is likely to make an official announcement about the executive change in the coming days.
Netflix had a rather unimpressive start to 2019, hurt by the bearish outlook on its performance amidst softening subscriber growth. The stock lost more than 3% in early trading Wednesday after brokerage firm SunTrust lowered its price target on the company by about 13% to $355, saying that user growth fell short of expectations in the fourth quarter, the results for which will be published later this month.
While maintaining the buy rating on the company, the analyst cautioned that the growing competition from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Walt Disney (DIS) might weigh down on Netflix’s performance in the coming months.
After closing the last trading session lower, Activision Blizzard dropped about 2% when trading started Wednesday. The stock lost about 30% in the last twelve months.
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