Freer Leaving Hulu as Disney Asserts Control

Streaming service integrated into company’s Direct-to-Consumer Group
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The Walt Disney Co. said it is integrating money-losing video streaming service Hulu into its direct-to-consumer group and that Randy Freer, Hulu’s CEO will be leaving.

Disney last year acquired control of Hulu, which had been owned by Disney, Comcast, Fox and Time Warner.

Hulu CEO Randy Freer

Hulu CEO Randy Freer

Streaming has become a focus for Disney, which last year launched Disney+ and also owns ESPN+.

Related: Disney Expected to Announce 25M - 30M Disney+ Customers During Q4 Call

“I want to thank Randy for his leadership the last two years as CEO and for his collaboration the past several months to ensure an exceptionally bright future for Hulu,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman, direct-to-consumer & international, The Walt Disney Company. “With the successful launch of Disney+, we are now focused on the benefits of scale within and across our portfolio of DTC businesses. Further integrating the immensely talented Hulu team into our organization will allow us to more effectively and efficiently deploy resources, rapidly grow our presence outside the U.S. and continue to relentlessly innovate. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity ahead, and I am confident in our ability to accelerate our positive momentum and better serve consumers.”

Freer had been a senior Fox executive before taking the helm at Hulu.

“I am grateful for my time at Hulu, and the opportunity to work and learn with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people. I also want to thank Kevin and The Walt Disney Company, as well as NBCUniversal and Fox, for providing me the opportunity to lead Hulu during a time of tremendous growth and significant industry transformation. Hulu has established itself as a leading choice for consumers looking for the best TV service available today, and I am confident Hulu will thrive inside Disney under DTCI’s leadership and resources.”

Freer will remain in his role for the next several weeks to help with the integration.