After much speculation, CEO Kilar to leave Hulu

Fri Jan 4, 2013 6:48pm EST
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By Jennifer Saba and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar will leave the streaming TV company this quarter, he wrote in a blog post on the company's website on Friday, raising more questions about its future path under multiple owners.

Kilar has long been rumored to be exiting the company as it faces stiff competition from Netflix Inc, Inc as well as Google Inc and Apple Inc.

Hulu chief technology officer Rich Tom is also leaving, according to the post.

Kilar gave no reason for his departure or indicate his future plans. Hulu did not name a replacement for the executives.

Kilar, Hulu CEO since July 2007, last year steered the company to $700 million in revenue and grew subscribers to 3 million. More than 200,000 new subscribers have signed up with the service in the last seven days, he noted.

"My decision to depart has been one of the toughest I've ever made," Kilar wrote. "The things that have clearly brought the most joy to my heart (and what I believe to be the most important inputs in our business) have been this team and the values and principles we hold dear."

Still, the popular service, which started primarily as a free site for people to catch up on television shows they might have missed, has had a rocky path over the last five years.

Part of the problem stems from its complicated ownership structure involving media conglomerates Walt Disney Co, News Corp and Comcast NBC Universal, and how much content each should make available to Hulu.   Continued...

Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu, participates in the Hollywood Radio and Television Society presentation of "The Digital Chiefs: A Special Conversation on the Future of new Media in the Digital Age" panel discussion in Los Angeles September 8, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten