Netflix Seeks New Chief Marketing Officer

Extermal Search for Successor to Leslie Kilgore, CMO Since 2000

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Its image battered, both among its users and on Wall Street , Netflix said late Friday it is starting a search for a new chief marketing officer.

The new hire will replace Leslie Kilgore, who is joining the company's board and giving up the CMO post she has held since joining the company in 2000 after stints at Amazon and Procter & Gamble.

"Leslie has been instrumental in our long-term success and our recent return to solid growth," CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings said in a statement, apparently alluding to the company's effort to get back on track after a pair of marketing debacles earlier this year.

The company named Jessie Becker to serve as interim CMO. She had been VP for marketing.

Netflix alienated many customers in July when it raised prices 60% for customers who wanted both streaming video and DVDs by mail. Two months later it said it was separating the streaming and DVD businesses entirely, meaning customers using both formats would have to deal with both Netflix and a new entity called Qwikster. It soon abandoned the Qwikster plan, but lost customers in the third quarter.

Competition from players such as Redbox and Facebook is also on the rise. But Netflix remains the dominant provider of digital movie rentals, with 55% share of the market in the fourth quarter of 2011, research firm NPD Group said Thursday. But that 's down somewhat from its peak share of 59% earlier in the year, NPD Group said.

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