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February 24, 2021

When Netflix is faced with a big, agenda-setting decision, it convenes a special team of 23 business heads to debate the issue at hand. This team helped shaped recent company moves, like the decisions to open an office in Canada and to invest $100 million in Black-led banks and financial institutions, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Insider. The group is known internally as the “Lstaff ” — the L stands for leadership — sits between the company’s officers and its larger executive staff of vice presidents and above that are called the “Estaff.” Co-CEO Reed Hastings mentioned the Estaff in his recent book about Netflix’s corporate culture. They typically meet a few times a year for a full day during Netflix’s Quarterly Business Reviews, which are for employees that are director-level and above. The Lstaff is more exclusive, made up of select department heads with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and remits within the company. It consists of Netflix’s eight C-suite execs including co-CEOs Hastings and Ted Sarandos, as well as other 15 other business leads like Maria Ferreras, who heads up business development; Minyoung Kim, vice president of content for, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; and Vernā Myers, who leads inclusion strategy. While the group isn’t new, Netflix only recently began referencing the team in its communications. About 48% of the group, or 11 of its 23 members, identify as women, a company spokesperson confirmed. The same share of women made up Netflix’s overall leadership, directors and above, as of October, according to a January report by the company. That’s a significantly greater representation of women than the gender makeup at other Hollywood studios, where a 2020 UCLA study of 11 studios found that 80% of the senior executives were male. Across corporate America, a 2020 McKinsey report showed that women made up 28% of senior-vice-president positions and 21% of C-suite execs. Netflix has been vocal about its efforts to improve representation on screen and within its ranks. It published in January a report that detailed its progress among representation of women and Black talent in top roles. The report also highlighted that Hispanic or Latinx and other groups were still underrepresented among leadership. The discourse around inclusion progress comes at a time when such topics are in the public eye. It’s also significant because researchers and advocates and Hollywood have argued that having more people from underrepresented groups in positions of power can help improve inclusion both on-screen and behind the scenes. An overview of Netflix’s Lstaff and the perspective each leader brings follows (ordered alphabetically by last name) Bela Bajaria became one of the most powerful content execs in TV last year when she was elevated to vice president, overseeing all of global TV for Netflix. Bajaria was promoted after content chief Ted Sarandos became co-CEO in 2020 and shook up the ranks in part to reflect Netflix’s growing global focus. 

Source: Business Insider
Image Source: Netflix, Insider, Skye