Los Angeles: Jason Kilar will step down by the end of March as the chief executive of Hulu, the online video service owned by the parents of ABC, NBC and Fox.
Kilar, 41, broke the news to staff in an email, which he posted on the Hulu blog on Friday. While he didn’t state a reason, the video site has been losing money despite posting nearly $700 million in revenue last year. But it’s growing fast, and added 200,000 paying subscribers in the last seven days alone, Kilar said. Last month, the company said it had more than 3 million subscribers.
The company’s CEO since its founding in 2007, Kilar has at times clashed with Hulu’s owners over strategy. Spawned in part as a bid to offset Internet piracy, Hulu got its start showing reruns of ABC, NBC and Fox shows free on the Web with minimal advertising, and added a $10-per-month subscription tier in June 2010 that expanded the back catalogue.
The price of a subscription to Hulu Plus was cut to $8 a few months later, but a paid plan is necessary for viewers who wish to watch shows on tablets, phones, or Internet-connected TV sets. It’s unclear if Kilar’s resignation signals a change in strategy, but it could be a good opportunity for the companies to implement changes.