June 4, 2018
Looking to shake up its internal management structure, Hulu has hired a new chief technology officer, its first chief data officer and realigned the subscription streaming video platform into four operating segments, among other changes.
Notable in the reorganization is the departure of chief content officer Joe Stillerman and Tim Connolly, SVP of partnerships and distribution. Stillerman had been with Hulu for just a year after joining the company from AMC Networks. Also leaving is Ben Smith, SVP, experience, who is retiring in July.
Hulu is conducting a search for a head of the new content partnerships group and is eliminating the CCO position.
“Ben, Tim and Joel have all played a significant role in getting Hulu to the strong position it is in today. They will forever be a part of Hulu’s success story, and we wish them the very best in their next endeavors,” CEO Randy Freer said in a statement.
The company’s original programming and relationships with creators, producers and studios will now operate as a dedicated business function led by SVP of content, Craig Erwich, who reports to Freer at the company’s Santa Monica, Calif.-based headquarters.
Other business segments include technology & product, “subscriber journey,” advertising, data & analytics. All of Hulu’s shared services functions — finance, legal, corporate communications and talent & organization — will continue operating as usual, reporting directly to Freer.
Hulu hired Jaya Kolhatkar, former SVP, global data and analytics platform for Walmart, as chief data officer. Kolhatkar, who begins July 2, will be responsible for elevating Hulu’s customer intelligence, implementing data governance and pushing the SVOD’s decision making based on data.
Dan Phillips, former COO at TiVo, becomes Hulu’s chief technology officer, responsible for aligning the company’s technical and product strategy. Philipps begins today (June 4).
Chief marketing officer Kelly Campbell assumes responsibility for “subscriber journey,” which includes acquisition, engagement and retention, to viewer experience and research, across all of Hulu’s business operations. In addition, this group will now oversee Hulu’s subscriber partnerships, including its relationships with Spotify and Sprint.
The advertising sales group continues to report to Peter Naylor, SVP of ad sales.
Hulu, which last month topped 20 million subscribers, continues to spend big attempting to bridge the gap with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
It lost $920 million in 2017 compared to a loss of $531 million in 2016. The fiscal loss is reportedly projected to reach $1.7 billion this year as original content (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Marvel’s “Runaways,” “Future Man,” and “The Doozers”) spending skyrockets.
The losses are primarily driven by continued investments in programming and marketing by Hulu’s four corporate parents 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co., Comcast and Time Warner.