Netflix co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings has gifted two million shares of his holdings in the streaming giant, according to a regulatory filing, with a current value of more than $1.1 billion.
Hastings has a net worth of $6.6 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a significant portion of which is Netflix stock. The gift, about 40% of Hastings’ direct holdings, was made to an undisclosed entity and disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.
“We don’t know what it could be, whether it’s a charity or multiple charities,” VerityData vice president Ben Silverman told CNBC. “There’s always a possibility that they’re shifting the stock somewhere else, for example to a trust where they don’t have control or are not a beneficiary.”
Hastings has several philanthropic pursuits. In 2020, he announced he would donate $120 million to two historically black colleges and universities and the United Negro College Fund.
Hastings retains just under 3 million Netflix shares with a value of around $1.7 billion. Given his long tenure at Netflix, he also has several tranches of options that he has historically sold at a steady clip, VerityData’s Silverman told CNBC. Those sales have netted him around $2 billion.
Though Hastings remains the executive chairman of Netflix, the company has no obligation to disclose the reason behind the gift or who is the beneficiary. Netflix shares are up nearly 23% year-to-date but are still around 16% below their 2021 high.
CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.