Netflix taps Facebook executive as new PR chief

Netflix on Monday tapped Facebook PR executive Rachel Whetstone to serve as its new chief communications officer, two months after the streaming giant fired former CCO Jonathan Friedland for using racial slurs during company meetings.

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Whetstone is joining the company after a year-long stint at Facebook, during which she helped coordinate the social media giant’s response to public concerns about fake news and Russian misuse of the platform during the 2016 election cycle, according to Recode. She has also held posts at Uber and Google.

“Rachel is a proven communications leader and a strong addition to the Netflix team,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO. “Her deep knowledge and international expertise will be invaluable as we bring Netflix and its expanding lineup of original content to an increasingly global audience.”

Whetstone will reportedly remain at Facebook for “another few months” to aid the transition process, TechCrunch reported.

After six years as Netflix’s top communications executive, Friedland was fired in June after company officials became aware that he used a racial slur during a meeting with employees about sensitive words. Friedland used the word again during a meeting with human resources officials about the first incident.

In a memo to staffers at the time, Hastings said Friedland had showed “unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity.”

Netflix has more than 130 million subscribers globally.