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Hulu Hires Ben Smith, Ex-Xbox and Sonos Exec, to Lead New ‘Experience’ Team

Hulu has tapped Ben Smith, previously a product manager for Sonos and Microsoft’s Xbox division, as senior VP and head of experience.

In the newly created role, Smith will oversee all of the streaming service’s customer-facing operations. Hulu is consolidating four teams under his command: product, user experience, digital-video production and customer support.

“Ever since we rolled out our mission, vision, values and strategic priorities just over a year ago, we knew we needed to bring on a leader laser-focused on guiding our efforts to start with the viewer,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins wrote in a blog Monday announcing Smith’s appointment.

Smith and the new Experience team “will lead us on our quest to redefine TV by changing the way our viewers enjoy television,” Hopkins added.

Most recently, Smith was Sonos’ senior director of product management where he led the global expansion of music services on the platform. At Microsoft, he led product design and program management for Xbox 360, Xbox Live and Kinect platform software, where he oversaw the development and November 2013 launch of the TV and OneGuide experience on Xbox One. Also at Microsoft, he led product design and program management in the Windows Embedded division.

Smith, after graduating from U. of Colorado at Boulder in 1997, served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania. When he returned to the U.S., he studied business at Ohio State U. and Harvard.

Hulu is owned by Disney, NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox.

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