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Hulu Loses Yet Another Senior Executive

John Vilade, previously head of Eastern and Central ad sales, leaves to join video-syndication provider NDN

The brain drain continues at Hulu, putting more pressure on newly installed CEO Mike Hopkins to stabilize the Internet video venture’s executive ranks.

John Vilade, previously Hulu’s VP of national ad sales for Eastern and Central regions, has left the company to join online-video syndication provider NDN as exec VP of ad sales.

A Hulu rep confirmed Vilade’s departure but declined to say who will take over his duties. Vilade spent four years at Hulu and oversaw a team of 50 ad reps in New York, Chicago and Detroit.

He’s the latest in a string of high-level Hulu execs who have bailed. JP Colaco, Hulu’s senior VP in charge of advertising sales and operations, left the company last month to join The Fremont Project — the stealth startup founded by former Hulu chief Jason Kilar and ex-CTO Richard Tom. Other recent exits: Senior VP of sales Kevin McGurn quit to join Shazam Entertainment and Pete Distad, previously Hulu’s senior VP of marketing and distribution, joined Apple as VP of product marketing over the summer.

Hopkins, the former president of distribution for Fox Networks who joined Hulu in mid-October, made his first senior hire in October in tapping Elaine Paul, former head of strategy and business development at Disney, as chief financial officer. Hulu earlier this year was shopped around by its owners — Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal — but they called off the sale plans and said they would invest $750 million in the company.

Vilade, in his new role at New York-based NDN, will report to CEO Greg Peters. “John’s relationships and experience with the most valuable brands in our industry are a perfect match for NDN’s premium online media partners,” Peters said in announcing Vilade’s hire.

NDN has 4,500 publishing partners and claims to be the fourth-largest online video platform in the U.S. with an audience of more than 50.5 million unique viewers for the month of October 2013, according to comScore.

Before joining Hulu in 2009, Vilade was Discovery Communications’ VP of national ad sales biz dev and VP of national advertising sales in NBCUniversal’s strategic partnership group.

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