Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings has entered the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans for the first time, with an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion. There are 22 other newcomers to this year’s list.
Netflix won an Academy Award, and shows a rising number of subscribers in 190 countries. The company is booming, with more than twice as many shares sold in the last 12 months through late September, which likely catapulted Hastings into the Forbes 400.
Netflix was founded in 1997 by Hastings as a DVD-by-mail provider. The Netflix stocks exploded over the past year as the company continues its global expansion. Netflix is showing an accelerating subscriber growth, adding 5.3 million customers in the third quarter. Similarly, Netflix announced their budget for movies and TV shows will rise from $7 billion to $8 billion for next year, up from $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. They also won their first Academy Award for best short-subject documentary for The White Helmets, about rescue workers in war-torn Syria.
However, Hastings’s history as CEO of Netflix took a tough path in terms of stock price. In 2011, the company suffered great losses when Netflix transitioned from a DVD rental business to a streaming video service. It took them years to get on track. Since 2011’s split-adjusted low shares of under $10, their stock has gained about 1,900 percent, closing Monday at about $202 per share.
Netflix announced on Monday that it now has about 109.3 million subscribers globally. Hastings is also entering the philanthropic world. He has launched a charitable fund in 2016 for educational causes, and he has been a signatory of the Giving Pledge since 2012.