Current CEO Jason Kilar who is leaving at the end of the month revealed the news today on Hulu‘s website. “You know Andy well”, Kilar said, “he’s been a critical senior executive and has been here from the start of this great adventure. As the company’s SVP Content, Forssell helped build Hulu grow from a startup in 2007 to about $700 million in revenue in 2012, Kilar added. Hulu stakeholders ABC/Disney and Fox/News Corp are in discussions with Hulu management about their plans for the company. Once those plans are finalized, the company will make a permanent decision about the CEO. Fellow stakeholder NBCUniversal/Comcast Corp. is barred from an active role at Hulu. ABC and Fox are in talks that may lead to one buying out the other’s interest. The companies, which each own about one-third, are also discussing selling Hulu or changing the business model.
Kilar just posted the news on the Hulu blog. He says that he is “currently working with the Board to ensure there is ample runway to manage this transition.” Although Kilar turned Hulu into one of the Web’s most popular video destinations, he has been widely expected to leave. He has had several run-ins with its owners News Corp, Disney, and Comcast, who didn’t share his passion to take Hulu public or sell it. Last year he had to dampen speculation that he might be considered for the top job at Yahoo before the board picked former Google exec Marissa Mayer to be CEO. In August, Variety disclosed an internal strategy memo that included on the agenda: “Outline transition plan for new CEO. Discuss potential candidates and process.” The path for Kilar’s departure was paved in October when the company paid Providence Equity $200M for its 10% stake. That also enabled Kilar to sell his shares back to the company, reportedly for $40M.
Last month, Kilar said on the company blog that Hulu would end 2012 with about $695M in revenue, up 65% vs 2011. Its paid streaming service, Hulu Plus, has more than 3M subscribers, double the number from the previous year. Kilar also said that Hulu invested more than $500M for content in 2012 and also served more than 1,000 advertisers during the year, a 28% increase over 2011. “Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners,” Kilar noted. Disney CEO Bob Iger calls Kilar “an integral part of the Hulu story,” adding that he’s confident in its executives’ “ability to drive Hulu forward from here.”
Here’s what Kilar said today:
The much-hyped Hulu auction may end up a bust because “the bids are not coming in as high as (the company’s backers) hoped,” Business Insider reports. Hulu was looking for more than $2B, but the site has …
No word about Hulu’s effort to find a buyer. But CEO Jason Kilar offers a strong sales pitch for the company in a status report he posted online today. He says the company owned by Disney, News Corp and Comcast’s NBCUniversal is “on pace to approach half a billion in 2011 revenue.” With 875,000 customers in June paying $7.99 a month to watch streamed movies and TV shows on Hulu Plus, “we anticipate exceeding 1 million paying subscribers before the end of this summer” — a target the company originally expected to hit at year’s end. Kilar says that when ad sales are thrown in, “we proudly and profitably pay the content community approximately $8 per subscriber per month for the content offering you see today on Hulu Plus.” The CEO adds that it is able to “thrive on low margins and the unusually effective Hulu advertising service we’ve built and will continue to innovate.” About 25 million DVRs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other devices can receive streamed videos from Hulu Plus, but Kilar says that will “grow aggressively over the balance of 2011.”