Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin Is Exiting, Plans to Pursue Return to Filmmaking (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix veteran Todd Yellin, who has led the streamer’s product teams spanning functions from user interface to pricing, is leaving the company.

Yellin, who has worked at the company for almost 17 years, will stay on at Netflix through September to help recruit his successor. The exec is credited with an array of developments, including leading the creation of Netflix’s “tudum” sonic trademark and advancing the company’s personalized content recommendations.

Yellin said he plans to pursue potential film and TV projects starting in the fall. Before joining Netflix, he wrote and directed independent family drama feature film “Brother’s Shadow” (which is available to stream on Netflix) and short film “The Eternal Pitch.” He also worked as a documentarian, filming political unrest in places like Tibet and Myanmar.

“When I joined Netflix nearly 17 years ago, I had just released my first feature film and planned to stay for a couple of years to right my finances before setting out on another film project,” Yellin said in a statement provided to Variety. “Year after year, the allure of revolutionizing how movies and TV shows are discovered and consumed, let alone having the opportunity to evolve video storytelling, became impossible to walk away from. This was a hellish decision but life is short and I want to get back to my filmmaking roots.”

Yellin’s departure was announced in an internal memo to Netflix staff Thursday. He joined Netflix in January 2006 — before it launched its first streaming service — as director of product management for personalization.

Since being named VP of product in 2014, he has overseen Netflix’s teams responsible for the end-to-end customer experience including growth, pricing, payments, programmatic acquisition marketing, content-discovery algorithms, and user interfaces across a wide variety of devices.

“Todd has been at the heart of our product strategy for almost 17 years — helping to develop major innovations like our personalized recommendations and brand-defining ‘tudum sound,’” Greg Peters, Netflix COO and chief product officer, said in a statement. “He’s one of the most consistently exuberant people I’ve ever worked with — a true champion of our customers, product, content and culture. We wish him all the best for the future.”