Netflix expands board with Disney, Microsoft vets

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 31 March 2015

Industry veterans and big-hitters Anne Sweeney and Brad Smith have been added to the Netflix board.

Sweeney was formerly the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television at the Walt Disney Co, and Smith was EVP and general counsel of legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft Corp.

The move brings the total number of directors to nine.

"We look forward to benefiting from Brad and Anne's perspective as we continue to build our global Internet TV network," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO.

Sweeney's entertainment experience spans more than three decades including senior roles at the Walt Disney Co, 21st Century Fox and Viacom. Until she stepped down in January, she oversaw Disney's cable, broadcast and satellite properties around the world since 2004. Previously, she helped establish and served as chairman and CEO of the FX Networks, part of the Fox Entertainment Group. Earlier in her career, she spent more than 12 years at Viacom's Nickelodeon network. She holds a BA from the College of New Rochelle and a Master of Education from Harvard University.

Smith, who has served as Microsoft's general counsel since 2002, has amassed broad global technology and public policy experience since joining the company in 1993. He spent three years leading the company's legal and corporate affairs team in Europe and five years as deputy general counsel responsible for such teams outside the US. His area of expertise includes competition law, intellectual property, government surveillance and privacy. Smith holds a BA in international relations and economics from Princeton University and a JD from Columbia University School of Law. He also studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.