Netflix taps EA veteran Ken Barker as principal accounting exec

Netflix has hired Ken Barker as its new principal accounting officer, the company disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing Monday. Barker will assume his role beginning June 27, 2022, reporting to Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann.

Barker most recently served as SVP of finance at gaming company Electronic Arts (EA), where he has held various positions for nearly two decades. Prior to joining EA, he held an executive role at computer company Sun Microsystems and was an audit partner at Deloitte.

According to the filing, Barker is assuming his duties from Neumann, who will continue to serve as Netflix’s CFO and principal financial officer. Barker will also receive an annual base salary of $2.4 million with a $600,000 annual stock option allowance under Netflix’s stock option program.

The previous primary accounting executive at Netflix was JC Berger, who exited the company June 10, Variety reported. Berger was Netflix’s VP of finance and global controller, and he had been with the company for the past 15 years.

News of the hire comes less than a month after Netflix laid off about 150 employees, most of whom worked in the U.S.

“Our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company,” Netflix told Deadline, referring to the 200,000 net subscriber loss in Q1.

Following the first quarter earnings report, Netflix shareholders filed a class action lawsuit against the company. Neumann, along with CEO Reed Hastings and executive Ted Sarandos, were listed as the lawsuit’s defendants.

Perhaps Barker’s experience at EA could help Netflix’s own gaming ambitions. Netflix has made several gaming studio buys in the past year, including Finland-based Next Games for about $72 million as well as Night School Studio last September.

During the first quarter earnings call, COO Greg Peters said acquisition is a “key part of our strategy to be able to build the capacity to produce the games titles that we think are really going to unlock value for our members.”

Barker isn’t the only EA executive to come onto Netflix. The company last July hired Mike Verdu as VP of game development. Verdu had previously spearheaded EA Mobile, geared towards the development of mobile games.