The company didn’t provide a reason for her departure. A Netflix rep declined to comment on Neal’s exit and would not confirm whether the company is planning to hire an exec to replace her in the role.
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Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and co-CEO, said in a statement provided to Variety: “We are incredibly grateful to Jessica Neal for building and leading a best-in-class talent organization over these past four years. She has been a trusted and valued partner, and we wish her the very best.”
Neal, in a statement provided by Netflix, said, “Leading the talent organization at Netflix, and seeing the business and so many careers thrive, has been an incredible experience. I want to thank Reed, Ted [Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer] and all my stunning colleagues who have made every day memorable and gratifying.”
Neal originally started at the company in 2006 when it was a DVD-by-mail upstart served as VP of talent for more than seven years. In 2013, she left to become head of human resources at Coursera, which provides online access to university courses, and after that took a job as chief people officer at mobile-games company Scopely where she worked for a little under two years.
Neal returned to Netflix in June 2017 to oversee HR for the product engineering team. In October of that year, Neal was promoted to chief talent officer, overseeing the groups handling HR, recruiting, culture and coaching functions.
Last fall, Netflix saw a spate of high-level exec departures in its programming group. Those included the exits of VP of original content Cindy Holland, head of comedy Jane Wiseman, head of drama Channing Dungey (now chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group), and VP of original drama series Nina Wolarksy. Netflix is famous for “The Keeper Test,” which, as Hastings has described it, requires a manager to ask the question about an employee, “Would you keep the person if they wanted to leave?”
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