December 23, 2011, 11:28 AM

Netflix halves the stock option allowance for CEO Reed Hastings

Marketing chief Leslie Kilgore also receives a salary cut.

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Reed Hastings

Netflix Inc. has shrunk by half the annual stock option allowance for CEO Reed Hastings and also reduced the annual salary of chief marketing officer Leslie Kilgore, according to a new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The entertainment content provider, No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reduced Hastings’ stock option allowance to $1.5 million from $3 million last year, according to filings. His annual salary remains at $500,000.

Kilgore’s annual salary was reduced to $575,000 from $802,000, according to filings. His annual stock option allowance, however, increased to approximately $1.3 million from approximately $1.1 million.

Netflix gave no reason for the changes and did not provide immediate comment.

The compensation changes come a month after Netflix said it wanted to raise about $400 million to help it sustain operations.

The retailer angered customers when it announced in July plans to increase fees and split its digital entertainment and DVD by mail businesses into separate units, leading to a 3.3% decrease in its U.S. subscriber base in the third quarter.  Hastings in September described the plan as a huge error in judgment. Netflix’s stock has dropped more than 70% since July. Still, in the third quarter, Netflix reported a nearly 49% year-over-year revenue increase.

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