Following Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s digs at Microsoft last night, the Redmond company continued to serve as a subplot at the D9 conference this morning. During an on-stage interview with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings — a member of Microsoft’s board for the past several years — AllThingsD.com’s Kara Swisher asked for his take on hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s call for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to step aside.
“As a board member, I care a lot about Microsoft, I’ve gotten to know the company,” he said, via the AllThingsD live stream. “And the best way for me to serve Microsoft, and the shareholders, the employees, the customers, is to not answer your question, just go a straight no comment.”
Swisher asked if Hastings himself would ever run Microsoft. “No, I’m going to run Netflix for as long as I do, and then I do a lot of education, non-profit work,” he said. “I’m not going to say until I die, but I’ll run it for a number of years and then I’ll be full-time philanthropy on charter schools.”
So how did he end up on the Microsoft board? “I joke that they wanted someone from tech, and they compete with almost everybody in tech, and they finally got down to a $1 billion, three years ago, DVD mailer. Yeah, that guy.”
Of course, Netflix these days is much more than a DVD mailer, with its streaming service now accounting for a huge percentage of overall Internet traffic.