Hulu’s CEO Jason Kilar announced today in a blog post that following his departure, at the end of this quarter, Andy Forssell, the company’s senior vice president of content will be named the acting CEO. Following finalization of any “forward-looking plans” by Disney and News Corporation, Kilar says that a permanent decision will be named over who will be in charge.
Kilar says that Hulu’s focus will continue to be set on delivering a “fantastic 2013 for customers and shareholders” and that the company is on its way to doing that — according to him, records are being set in Q1 with regards to revenue and subscriber additions.
High praise was heaped on Forssell, with Kilar saying that the soon-to-be acting CEO exemplifying the Hulu culture and has been integral in helping Hulu grow from two content partners and no revenue to over 450 partners and approximately $700 million in revenue last year. The former US Army Captain joined Hulu the company after years spent at Siebel Systems and Oracle where he served in leaderships roles relating to product development, customer care, datacenter operations, and supplier management for its hosted CRM SaaS businesses.
Forssell was responsible for the multi-year licensing deal that Hulu struck at the end of 2012 with CBS to bring its TV library to the Hulu Plus subscription service. The Chicago Tribune says that he also led the charge into bringing original programming onto Hulu, with content such as Kevin Smith’s “Spoilers” and the travel show “Up to Speed”, along with many others.
In January 2013, Kilar told the company that he would be stepping down, along with CTO Rich Tom. He had been the video giant’s leader since the company’s start back in 2007.
Hulu was a joint venture of News Corp.’s Fox, Disney-ABC, and NBCUniversal. However, following the acquisition by Comcast, NBCUniversal is no longer involved in the company’s strategy. Another firm, Providence Equity Partners, had sold its stake in the video company leaving only News Corp. and Disney as the two stakeholders.
Below is Kilar’s full email to the Hulu team:
As you all know, I will be departing Hulu at the end of this quarter. I wanted to share the news that Andy Forssell will be stepping up to lead Hulu as acting CEO after I depart later this month. You know Andy well; he’s been a critical senior executive and has been here from the start of this great adventure. Andy exemplifies the Hulu culture and has been central to Hulu’s journey, helping to grow this company from 2 content partners and no revenue to over 450 content partners and approximately $700 million revenue in 2012. In his role, Andy has built strong relationships with many of our Board members. Andy has the Board’s strong support in leading the team during this important time.
Disney and News Corporation are currently finalizing their forward-looking plans with Hulu, and the senior team has been working closely with them in that process. Once the plans are finalized, a permanent decision will be made regarding the CEO position.
As I mentioned to you all at the beginning of this year, Hulu’s focus remains on delivering a fantastic 2013 for customers and shareholders. Hulu is well on its way, with new records being set in Q1 across both revenue and subscriber additions. The unwavering focus on delighting Hulu’s customers is clearly showing up in the outputs of the business.