Over-the-top streaming service Hulu is getting a new CEO. Randy Freer, a Hulu board member and the president and COO of the Fox Networks Group, will become CEO. Mike Hopkins, who had been Hulu’s CEO since 2013, will be leaving to join Sony Pictures Television as chairman.
Hulu has become one of the biggest players in OTT video, with an estimated subscriber base of more than 30 million, according to an analysis by Forbes. It is owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and Time Warner.
The leadership shakeup comes at a pivotal time for the streaming service. Hulu is currently beta-testing a live TV service, featuring broadcast networks and select cable channels. Up until now, Hulu’s service had been on-demand, featuring a mix of original programming and shows from partners like NBC and Fox.
Hopkins joined Hulu from Fox in 2013, and led its foray into original programming, culminating at this year’s Emmy Awards, which saw Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” take home top honors in the drama category, a first for any streaming service.
Hulu’s on-demand service has a basic, ad-supported tier, and users can pay extra to have an ad-free experience. The live-streaming service will feature the same commercial ad loads as every other live TV service.