Freer Leaving Hulu as Disney Asserts Control

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Walt Disney Co. said it is integrating money-losing video streaming service Hulu into its direct-to-consumer group and that Randy Freer, Hulu’s CEO will be leaving.

Disney last year acquired control of Hulu, which had been owned by Disney, Comcast, Fox and Time Warner. 

Streaming has become of focus for Disney, which last year launched Disney+ also owns ESPN+.

“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 Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer & international for The Walt Disney Company. 

“With the successful launch of Disney+, we are now focused on the benefits of scale within and across our portfolio of DTC businesses," Mayer added. "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.”

Freer had been a senior Fox executive before taking the helm at Hulu. He'll remain in his role for the next several weeks to help with the integration. 

“I am grateful for my time at Hulu, and the opportunity to work and learn with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people," Freer said in a statement. "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.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.