Monday, Apr. 04, 2011

Reed Hastings

Age: 46
Occupation: CEO of Netflix
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0

Much of the business world has already counted out Reed Hastings and his DVD-by-mail company at least once. A little over a year ago, Hastings, in a role-the-dice move, shifted the focus of his company from DVDs to streaming videos. Netflix now has more than 20 million subscribers — up from just over 9 million in 2008 — and that's made Hastings one of the most important people in Hollywood and in media in general. Netflix's shares, which started 2010 at about $50, recently topped $235. Movie studios and electronics manufacturers are increasingly changing their businesses to accommodate Netflix and its many users. Your next TV or DVD player will likely have a Netflix button. And your next favorite show might be brought to you by Netflix as well. The company recently inked a deal to produce its first original series, based on a successful British show and backed by actor Kevin Spacey and The Social Network director David Fincher.