Studio exec arrives as Mike Hopkins takes control of company
Newly minted Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins is wasting no time in assembling his executive team with the streaming service announcing on Friday that Disney vet Elaine Paul has been tapped as chief financial officer.
Paul most recently served as senior vice president of corporate strategy at the Walt Disney Company and knows Hulu from her work advising the Mouse House in its initial investment in the digital pioneer in 2009.
“Elaine brings with her a love for Hulu and the amazing product that you all have built,” Hopkins wrote in a note to staff that was posted on Hulu's blog. “I am confident that her depth of experience and financial and strategic prowess will no doubt add incredible value to this team as we continue to work together to build the best product for our customers (users, content owners, and advertisers).”
Paul has digital chops, having also worked as vice president of business development for the Walt Disney Internet Group. She begins her new job on Monday.
Hopkins took over as chief executive officer last week and, like Paul, joined Hulu from one of its corporate parents, Fox. At Fox, he most recently served as the president of distribution.
Andy Forssell, who served as acting CEO following the departure of Jason Kilar in January, is leaving Hulu.
Paul and Hopkins will be tasked with growing a business that has been put up for sale by its parent companies only to be yanked off the market two times in as many years. It also faces deep-pocketed competitors like Netflix and Amazon in the fight for online video dollars.
Hulu generated roughly $700 million in revenue in 2012 and has roughly three million paying customers for its Hulu Plus subscription service.
In addition to Disney and Fox, Comcast is a co-owner in Hulu.