"JUST A BUSINESS DECISION": When Netflix Dumped Qwikster, It Left One Exec Stranded In NorCal

Reed Hastings

Photo: Wikipedia

Wall Street loved it when Netflix dumped its plans to spin off its DVD rental business as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary called Qwikster.Qwikster employees, however?

Maybe not so much.

Take Rob Gabel, for example.

A month ago, Rob was SVP of Advertising Performance at Machinima, a very healthy Web video startup out of Los Angeles.

But then a much bigger opportunity came up. Netflix wanted to make him a Chief Marketing Offer – big title! Rob wasn’t going to be CMO of Netflix. He was going to run marketing for Qwikster, still a top secret project.

Here was the catch: the job was not in Los Angeles. To take the job, Rob would have to move his family all the way up to near Los Gatos, where Netflix is based.

Rob did it. He moved himself and his family to NorCal.

Netflix announced Qwikster.

Shareholders and customers hated it.

A month later?

Rob is out of a job.

He’s not bitter, says a friend.

“He’s on the street [and it’s] a really hideous experience, [but] they treated him well. It was just a business decision.”

Check out Rob’s LinkedIn profile here.

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