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Ex-Hulu Chief Jason Kilar To Head WarnerMedia

Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar.

image: WarnerMedia | AT&T

WarnerMedia, a division of telecoms giant AT&T, has announced the appointment of entertainment and tech veteran Jason Kilar as its new CEO. Kilar, who was notably previously the founding CEO of popular video streaming service Hulu, will occupy his new position effective on the 1st of May. Under his role, he'll report to John Stankey, AT&T’s President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Although Kilar is not at all new to the media and entertainment industry, leading WarnerMedia happens to be his biggest job yet. WarnerMedia is in a no way a small division, being one with annual revenues in the tens of billions. It became a division of AT&T after the telecoms giant acquired the company in 2018 in a deal that amounted to a whopping $85 billion. Its acquisition wasn't without hassles however, as the deal was met with opposition in the form of an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department. AT&T triumphed nonetheless and gained regulatory approval to close its big purchase, and did so in June 2018.

Kilar is best known for his leadership tenure at Hulu, a company he helped launch. Being there from the start (in 2007), Kilar built Hulu from its foundations into a streaming service used by millions before departing the company in 2013. Even after his departure, Hulu has continued to fare well and is now a division of entertainment giant Disney. Disney, which originally held an ownership interest in Hulu, acquired the entirety of the company last year in a deal that valued it at a minimum of $27.5 billion. Such proves that Kilar isn't just a media veteran but one with a big success under his belt.

Before helping launch Hulu, Kilar also held leadership positions at Amazon for nine years including as SVP of Worldwide Application Software. Additionally, he was a board member at DreamWorks Animation for three years and is currently a board member at Univision Communications, a well-known media house.

“Jason is a dynamic executive with the right skill set to lead WarnerMedia into the future. His experience in media and entertainment, direct-to-consumer video streaming and advertising is the perfect fit for WarnerMedia, and I am excited to have him lead the next chapter of WarnerMedia’s storied success,” AT&T COO John Stankey touted in a press release, maybe rightfully so.

“Adding Jason to the talented WarnerMedia family as we launch HBO Max [its streaming service] in May gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth.” Stankey said.

Kilar wasn't without his own words. “In partnership with this world-class team, I'm so excited for the opportunity to lean into the future at WarnerMedia,” He said. “Stories well told have always mattered, and they matter even more in this challenging time for the world. It will be a privilege to invent, create, and serve with so many talented people. May 1st can't get here soon enough.”





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