Hulu Names Elaine Paul As CFO

Continuing to reshape its C-suite, Hulu on Friday named Disney exec Elaine Paul as its newest chief financial officer.
 
“Elaine is no stranger to Hulu,” Mike Hopkins, the company’s recently appointed CEO, said in a note to employees on Friday. “Elaine was involved in Disney’s original investment in Hulu back in 2009 and has played a continuing role through her work at Disney on their corporate strategy team.”
 
As senior vice president of corporate strategy at Disney, Paul led various acquisitions, new business initiatives and strategic investments. Paul is taking the place of Tom Fuelling, who has been with Hulu since 2007. Fuelling’s plans for the future are not yet known.
 
Hulu is clearly most comfortable appointing executives who come from its joint network owners, which include Walt Disney’s ABC, 21st Century Fox’s Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
 
Hopkins, who was named Hulu’s new CEO just last week, most recently served as president of distribution for Fox Networks Group -- a division of 21st Century Fox -- since 2008.
 
However, some analysts have called Hulu’s hiring practices overly conservative.
 
“The placement of Hopkins … someone firmly connected to the traditional business … sends the signal traditional partners want to see, even as consumers continue to care nothing about the implications of Hulu on traditional TV,” Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said last week.

“It's a safe way forward for now, but the time will come when consumers will find Hulu's offerings lacking in comparison to all the other tools being offered to them,” he added.
 
In addition to her work in corporate strategy, Paul previously served as vice president of business development for the Walt Disney Internet Group.
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