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Netflix CEO Joins Microsoft Board

Microsoft announced it has elected Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings to its board of directors, as a member of the finance committee. Previously, Microsoft's board consisted of only nine seats; Hastings, 46, will expand it to 10.

According to a Microsoft statement, the board on its Monday meeting also "declared a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share, payable June 14, 2007, to shareholders of record on May 17, 2007. The ex-dividend date will be May 15, 2007."

Hastings founded Netflix in 1997, which has seen the number of its subscribers double over the last two years, to 6.3 million by the end of 2006.

Before Netflix, Hastings was busy establishing and growing Pure Software, which eventually became of one of the 50 largest public software companies in the world. (The company was eventually bought by Rational Software, now a part of IBM, in 1997.)

Also a former president of the California State Board of Education, Hastings has a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University, according to his bio online.

As a member of the board of the world's largest software developer, Hastings joins a star-studded cast of characters, including chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer. It also includes James Cash Jr., former James E. Robison professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School; Dina Dublon, previously a chief financial officer at JPMorgan Chase; and Raymond Gilmartin, professor at Harvard Business School and former chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co.

In addition to Gates and Ballmer, other longtime board members include David Marquardt of August Capital and Microsoft veteran Jon Shirley, who was once the company's president and chief operating officer.

Charles Noski, former vice chairman of AT&T; and Dr. Helmut Panke, former BMW AG board member, round out the board.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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