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Netflix Makes Africa Push With Zimbabwean Billionaire's Appointment To Board

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Netflix Makes Africa Push With Zimbabwean Billionaire's Appointment To Board

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) is aiming to boost its presence in Africa with the appointment of Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to its board.

What Happened: Masiyiwa has become the first African to join Netflix’s board. The company also has two European directors.

The newly-appointed executive has connections and experience in Africa as the founder and chairman of Econet Global, a company that offers telecommunications and mobile payments services, according to Bloomberg.

In Africa, Netflix has a couple of million customers, even though the continent has a population of more than a billion, according to Digital TV Research.

Netflix Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said in a statement that Masiyiwa's "entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world.”

Why It Matters: The subscription video-on-demand firm, which has more than 190 million subscribers, is reportedly planning to grow in regions beyond the United States and Europe for its next spurt of growth.

Last month, Netflix’s Vice President for Business Development in Asia Pacific Tony Zameczkowski said the company was “very bullish” on its prospects in the region.

Zameczkowski said the California-based SVOD giant sees “significant potential” in South Korea, India, and Indonesia.

The company faces intense competition from rivals such as Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), and Tencent Holdings Ltd (OTC: TCEHY) in the world’s most populous continent. 

Price Action: Netflix shares rose nearly 1% to $524.83 on Wednesday and rose 0.2% in the after-hours session.

 

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