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Hulu President Kelly Campbell Abruptly Departs, Reportedly Talking to NBCU About Peacock Role

Former Hulu President Kelly Campbell
(Image credit: Hulu)

Kelly Campbell has abruptly departed her post as president of Hulu and is reportedly in talks to join NBCUniversal. 

The news first came via an internal Disney memo, which says that Rebecca Campbell, no relation, and chair of international operations for Hulu, will will handle, at least for now, the outgoing Campbell's direct reports. 

Reps for The Walt Disney Company, the controlling majority shareholder for joint venture Hulu, confirmed the departure, but have yet to comment. 

Also read: Hulu Is Already Profitable, Will Grow to 65 Million Subscribers By 2024, Analyst Predicts

Campbell, meanwhile, also confirmed her own departure on her LinkedIn profile, also sans rationale. 

"While I’ve made the decision to move on from Hulu, I’ll forever bleed green," she wrote. "As for what’s next, stay tuned..."

While neither Disney or Campbell would specify on the executive's next job, the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said she's in talks to join NBCU about a possible high-level role with Peacock.

NBCU is reportedly looking to replace Gidon Katz, currently president of direct-to-consumer overseeing Peacock, who plans to leave NBCU for another job. 

Campbell held the Hulu presidency since February 2020. The former Hulu CMO, who arrived at the joint venture in August 2017 after a 12-year stint at Google, was put in charge following a Disney reorganization of both its broader business portfolio and the Hulu joint venture, all to focus more on direct-to-consumer streaming.

Notably, her job description didn't include original scripted programming. (Speculation has already emerged that FX Chairman John Landgraf might step into Campbell's role as the permanent replacement, with much of Hulu's bigger shows originating from FX.)

In a subsequent reorg, Rebecca Campbell was put in charge of international operations and direct-to-consumer in October 2020, reporting directly to Disney head honcho Bob Chapek.

Disney became the controlling shareholder in Hulu in 2019 following its purchase of Fox's entertainment assets and the subsequent buyout of AT&T's 10% interest. 

In her own note to staff Monday, Rebecca Campbell noted that, "For an interim period, Scott Donaton, Reagan Feeney, Karin Gilford, Brian Henderson and Annie Luo will report into me. Additionally, leaders of the Disney Streaming cross-business teams--Joe Inzerillo, Jerrell Jimerson, Jaya Kolkatkar and Karen Van Kirk--will dual-report to Michael Paull and, temporarily, to me."

Campbell added, "Hulu remains an important part of our direct-to-consumer strategy, and I look forward to working closely with all of you until her replacement is named."

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.