Jonathan Friedland, one of the founders of Meximerica’s Rumbo chain of newspapers and currently SVP of corporate communications at Walt Disney Co., has taken a new job as head of global corporate communications at Netflix. He will replace Ken Ross, who is retiring.
Friedland, who joined Disney in 2006 after a two-year stint at start-up newspaper chain Rumbo, confirmed to Portada his first day at the DVD and online-video subscription firm will be February 7. He will remain in Los Angeles, where the Los Gatos, CA.-based company has an office.
Friedland declined to give specifics on his new job at Netflix. But his hiring signals the company’s appetite for global expansion. A seasoned media executive, Friedland has lived and worked as a journalist in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He is also fluent in Spanish, something that will come in handy in the firm’s expansion strategy, both throughout Latin America and within the U.S. Hispanic market.
Netflix kicked off its international expansion in Canada, where it launched last fall with a pure streaming offering and where it expects to be profitable in the third quarter of this year. Upon the Canadian announcement, Netflix hinted it will expand into an additional market in the second half of this year, though it has not specified which market.
Prior to joining Disneyin 2006, Friedland had left The Wall Street Journal to join Edward Schumacher-Matos in launching Rumbo in 2004. As a vice president of the company, Friedland was charged with product and editorial development but stepped down in mid 2006. Prior to joining Rumbo, Friedland was in charge of the 18-reporter Los Angeles bureau of the Wall Street Journal.
A replacement for Friedland in Disney has not been announced yet.