Hulu CEO Randy Freer to Exit Amid Reorganization Under Disney

Streaming service will become further aligned under direct-to-consumer head Kevin Mayer

Last Updated: January 31, 2020 @ 2:50 PM

Hulu CEO Randy Freer will leave the streaming service amid a reorganization under Disney’s direct-to-consumer chief Kevin Mayer.

Freer, who has been CEO since 2017, will remain in his role for the next several weeks to help with the integration. Disney is further aligning Hulu into its operations. As a result, Hulu’s top executives will report directly to Disney’s DTCI division leaders. Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior vice president of scripted originals, will still report to Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

Disney acquired majority control of the streaming company as part of its $71.3 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets. Disney, which launched its own branded streaming service Disney+ last November, took “full operational control” after buying out AT&T’s 10% stake and striking a deal with Comcast last spring.

“I want to thank Randy for his leadership the last two years as CEO and for his collaboration the past several months to ensure an exceptionally bright future for Hulu,” said Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international. “With the successful launch of Disney+, we are now focused on the benefits of scale within and across our portfolio of DTC businesses. Further integrating the immensely talented Hulu team into our organization will allow us to more effectively and efficiently deploy resources, rapidly grow our presence outside the U.S. and continue to relentlessly innovate.  There is a tremendous amount of opportunity ahead, and I am confident in our ability to accelerate our positive momentum and better serve consumers.”

Prior to Hulu, Freer was president and COO of Fox Networks Group and served as co-president Fox Sports Media Group before that.

Added Freer: “I am grateful for my time at Hulu, and the opportunity to work and learn with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people. I also want to thank Kevin and The Walt Disney Company, as well as NBCUniversal and Fox, for providing me the opportunity to lead Hulu during a time of tremendous growth and significant industry transformation. Hulu has established itself as a leading choice for consumers looking for the best TV service available today, and I am confident Hulu will thrive inside Disney under DTCI’s leadership and resources.”

In addition to Hulu and Disney+, the entertainment giant also has the sports-themed ESPN+ as it competes the fast-growing streaming industry. Apple launched their own streaming product 11 days prior to Disney+ on Nov. 1, while this spring will see three more newcomers enter the space in Quibi, Peacock and HBO Max.

Disney is set to report its first quarterly earnings next week since the launch of Disney+, where it is expected to report subscribers for the first time. The company said it got more than 10 million sign-ups for Disney+ on its Nov. 12 launch day.

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