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Some news to share.

January 4th, 2013 by Jason Kilar CEO

Earlier today, I sent the below email to the Hulu team:

In what is an understatement, this email has proven difficult for me to both write and send.

I’ve decided to depart Hulu in Q1. I am currently working with the Board to ensure there is ample runway to manage this transition.

Rich Tom will be doing the same, with roughly the same departure date. Rich and I have been fortunate to build and innovate alongside each other these past 5+ years and our plan is to do more of that on the road ahead.

It is impossible to state in words how much this team means to me, how much Hulu means to me. But I’ll do my best.

For me, the journey started with a move to California and a walk into an empty office suite in early July 2007. In the weeks afterward, some brave souls that were willing to look past the many naysayers and ClownCo moniker jumped aboard and got about the business of innovating and building. Five and a half years later, thanks to the missionary work of this amazing 600+ worldwide team and courageous, prescient partners, we are fortunate to have collectively built a culture that matters, a brand that matters, a business that matters.  Our convictions and our relentless pursuit of better ways have made the difference and will continue to make the difference. We have grown from a few hundred thousand in revenue in 2007 to generating almost $700 million in revenue in 2012 alone. We have created a video subscription service that is growing unusually fast, adding over 200K new subscribers in the past 7 days alone (a new record). We have proudly generated over $1 Billion for our content partners since we excitedly entered private beta in October 2007. Our video advertising service delivers world-class results and sets the pace for the industry. We have authored scores of inventions along the way.

And while the above outputs are impressive and laudatory, the things that have clearly brought the most joy to my heart (and what I believe to be the most important inputs in our business) have been this team and the values and principles we hold dear.

Perhaps the best way to express this is to let you in on a little routine I have followed these past 5+ years. Each day, as I enter the office lobby, I take the time to enjoy the many portraits of our team members that line the walls. From Damon gorging on a 2 foot high cold cut sandwich to Jesse showing off his sweet kicks. Portraits from Beijing to Boston and the other fine Hulu offices in between. Those portraits – along with the What Defines Hulu? document on those same walls – mean so much to me, as it is a daily and vivid reminder of how great this team is and how we bring such passion and principle to what we do. Without fail, I am reminded in those moments of reflection why we do what we do, why this work is a mission and never a job.

I’ve been so fortunate to play a role in this amazing, ongoing journey. My decision to depart has been one of the toughest I’ve ever made. Though the words will fall short of the intended mark, please know how much this team means to me and how very thankful I am to be able to innovate and build alongside you each day.

As dates and other items get solidified, I will update the team.  But in the meantime and for much of Q1, I will be here as we get off to a very strong start in 2013…

Jason

Last comment: about 7 hours ago 19 Comments
  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to
    know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.

    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home
    a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great
    read. I will definitely be back.

  • Hey Steve,

    Sorry to hear about you leaving. The ads you find on Hulu help keep our monthly cost low, and keep the awesome day-after-air content coming. Please let us know if there’s any way we can win you back at ( http://www.hulu.com/support ).

    Thanks,
    Casey C!

  • steve hodges says:

    I quit hulu because the ads are now 200 seconds long now and direct TV has bought Hulu out!
    I started watching Hulu instead of Direct TV and I am not going to watch it anymore with 200 second commercials!

  • Hi there, thanks for contacting us to let us know. We’d be happy to investigate this image loading issue further and work on a fix. Would you mind writing into us directly at ( http://www.hulu.com/support ) with the specific browsers you tried on. You can also find some helpful playback tips at ( http://www.hulu.com/support/article/166587 ). I hope this helps!

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  • Hi Jeremiah,

    Thanks for contacting us! We do offer some of our Anime content with an English language track, but at this time, I’m afraid we’re unable to offer this option for all of our Anime content. We rely on the content provider to deliver dubbed and subtitled episodes, and sometimes, only one or the other is available. I totally understand your preference though, so we’ll continue to work with the content provider to get you more dubbed Anime offerings!

    I’m sorry for the trouble, but please let me know if there’s anything else I can assist you with.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    Hulu Support

  • Ron Clabo says:

    I’m surprised by so many vicious comments here. I find it really disturbing, and my guess is the people making such comments would speak differently if Jason and his direct reports were in a room with them to answer there comments.

    I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Jason speak last night at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. His talk was generous, delivered from the heart, and encouraging to all. He told of his personal journey since childhood, his hero’s and his lessons learned. As a fellow entrepreneur, I’m truly grateful I was in the audience last night. Creating something from nothing is very challenging, and from where I sit Jason and the team at Hulu have done an amazing job of envisioning a new way to access video and putting passion and hard work behind that vision.

  • Is there anyway that you can change the anime TV show language from Japanese to English Please. I feel that it takes away from the TV show if the only thing your doing the hold time you are watching the TV is reading the words.

  • Esta pagina me ahorro trabajo mientras estaba buscando algo sobre ebay iphone 3g .
    Muy agradecido.

  • Rahul says:

    The story is now on CNN. Please make sure the comments are moderated properly and no spam comes here.

  • cyberdude says:

    Looking for online tv, i found this great site. I will recommend this site to my friend. Thanks Jason.

  • Rob Millis says:

    Jason, you are one of the few forward thinkers to make such a dramatic impact on the industry. You and your team have pushed VOD further in the last 5 years than the networks could have done in 10 without you. Whatever critics may think of particular details of Hulu today, they forget what the professional VOD market was like in 2007 and the incredible hurdles you’ve overcome in the process of helping to shape the industry.

    I look forward to seeing what’s next and hope we’ll cross paths down the road.

  • Onward and upward Mr. Kilar. I hope that as soon as your non-compete ends we see you back in the VOD arena, because I believe you will give Hulu a run for the money :) As for the naysayers, they clearly don’t understand how much you’ve had to fight with the owners of Hulu to make it even as good as it is today. Having covered the industry for the past five years I have a better view of it all I think.

  • Cary says:

    Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you require any html coding expertise to make your
    own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Lydzatwit says:

    If Hulu would just sit down and focus on REALLY attracting advertisers they could be so huge. No one else is going for that niche online. (Legitimately that is.) Not even the networks! But Hulu obviously is barely courting advertisers, who should be their hugest crush. The same 5 or 10 ads are on endless repeat. (Their Ford “series” was actually a creative move in the right direction, even though it might’ve been too “ironic.” But that came & went unnoticed.) As long as Hulu keeps stupidly trying to compete in the already-oversaturated subscription market, they will be half-assed at best. That way is the dinosaur’s way. No one source will ever satisfy a typical user’s entertainment desires, and the masses won’t tolerate the punitive cost of multiple subscriptions for long, if at all. Just like what happened to cable & network TV, the music industry, & now to the phone carriers, overestimating the custie’s tolerance for extortion is the road to losing the whole kit & caboodle. (People really do have the power, though usually we have to get really riled to realize that fact.) Right now, the online piraters are getting all the lucre that legit media companies have deemed too filthy…crimelords are selling more advertising than the bona fide online sites! VERY SAD SHOWING, CAPITALISTS!

  • ddonth says:

    “Ours is a culture of obsessing over our customers” Yeah, right. Hulu support stinks. The problem is always with the customers device. Hulu makes no mistakes whatsoever. That’s why everything else plays fine except for the recent offering of Star Trek episodes. Must be that I need Chrome to watch Star Trek. I’m sick of hearing about Chrome

  • Will North says:

    Come back to Amazon Jason. We miss you!

  • joeking says:

    i am happy that hulu made the right choice getting rid of jason kilar because he never did anything for this company stocks went down no new content deals i hope they choose wisey when picking the next ceo they need someone with experience in intenet tv business not someone just their for the money huluplus needs rebuliding and upgrades 2013 will be a better year maybe something can get done!!!

  • The biggest Hulu innovation was getting me to watch ads. Seriously – Hulu serves the best video ads on the web. Kudos to you and your team. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

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