Confirming earlier rumors, Hulu has named former Fox executive Mike Hopkins as its new chief executive officer, the company announced today.
With a permanent CEO, Hulu will hopefully be able to solidify itself as a prime destination for both licensed and original streaming video content. Hulu’s owners — 21 Century Fox, Walt Disney Company, and the voiceless Comcast — already decided to invest $750 million into the service for original programming, which should help it compete against others who are doing the same, like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
Hopkins will replace interim CEO Andy Forssell, who was the last notable executive still in place after long-time boss man Jason Kilar left the company to pursue other ventures.
As I previously noted, Hopkins is a distribution guy, which could prove very telling when it comes to Hulu’s future. Theoretically, if you wanted to grow Hulu as a business, you’d likely have pulled in someone with a much more thorough advertising background to help build up the company. But Hulu’s owners seem to have decided that the best role for Hulu is as a gatekeeper of content.
Here’s a letter Hopkins wrote to Hulu staff earlier today:
While I have been on the Hulu board for a few years and have worked with some of you before in that capacity, I am thrilled to be joining the Hulu team as the new CEO. The official announcement will be going out shortly, but I wanted to make sure to share the news directly with you all first.
I want to thank Andy Forssell for his incredible work and tremendous leadership. His imprint on the company is, and always will be, immeasurable.
I am really excited about my new role. You are a remarkable team. You have built a product and brand that has earned its place among the top tier of consumer technology companies. You have built a product and service that your customers (users, content owners, and advertisers) simply love.
People love Hulu because the product is fantastic. This is a testament to the engineering excellence and product development focus that is so much a part of the DNA here at Hulu. You continue to innovate every day. For these reasons, and so many others, I am proud to be a part of the next chapter for Hulu.
The fact is, through all the recent uncertainty not only have you kept this business together, but you’ve continued to deliver on every key performance metric. In fact, you are delivering one of the strongest years Hulu has ever seen: We expect revenues to be close to a billion dollars this year, and Hulu Plus subscribers continue to climb.
With the foundation you have built, the significant capital infusion of three quarters of a billion dollars, and our partners aligned and fully supportive of what we need to get it done, the sky is the limit for Hulu. I am looking forward to working with you all.
I can’t wait to get started and meet you all in person.
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