Netflix co-founder hands $1.1bn donation to charity

Netflix co-founder hands $1.1bn donation to charity


The gift shaved off a significant chunk of his net worth

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(Web Desk) - Reed Hastings, the co-founder and executive chairman of Netflix, has gifted 2 million shares of his holdings in the streaming giant worth about $1.1 billion, according to a regulatory filing.

The gift, which represents about 40% of Hastings' Netflix holdings, shaved off a significant chunk of his net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Before the transaction, Hastings' net worth was $6.6 billion, but it has since fallen to $5.5 billion.

Although the gift's recipient was not disclosed in the regulatory filing, The Wall Street Journal reported it was given to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a charity popular with tech founders because it grants them tax breaks and privacy. A representative for Netflix declined to comment.

Hastings' gift came shortly after Netflix shares briefly surged following a strong earnings report.

It's unclear exactly what his contribution will be earmarked for, although he previously donated about $100 million to the foundation to establish an educational fund in 2016.

The Netflix co-founder also made a $120 million donation to two historically Black colleges and universities and the United Negro College Fund in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd in May of that year.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation — which reported $10.1 billion in assets in 2022 — was launched in 2007 to help wealthy Silicon Valley executives make charitable contributions.

The charity offers donor-advised funds that allow individuals to contribute some of their wealth and then advise on how they are used for specific causes.

The foundation has received donations from more than a dozen billionaires, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also donated more than $1 billion worth of his company's shares to the charity.

At the end of 2022, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation reported 1,600 donor-advised funds, which held all but $500,000 of its $10.1 billion in total assets.

These types of funds have been criticized because donors receive an immediate tax dedication, although their funds can sit untouched for years. Charities that operate donor-advised funds also offer more privacy, since they have to disclose where the funds go but not where the cash originated or who directed the donations.