The move comes as Disney, which now controls all of Hulu after acquiring 21st Century Fox and buying out Comcast, looks to more closely integrate the streamer with its Direct-to-Consumer & International division under Kevin Mayer. As part of this reorganization, Hulu executives across key business operations will now report directly into DTCI business leads.
“I am grateful for my time at Hulu, and the opportunity to work and learn with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people,” Freer said. “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 assist with the transition. He has been Hulu’s CEO since 2017. Prior to joining Hulu, he was the president and COO of Fox Networks Group. Before that, he served as co-president and COO of Fox Sports Media Group.
“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 Mayer, chairman of Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International. “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.”
This is not the first move to better align Hulu with the Mouse House. Disney Television Studios’ Dana Walden now has oversight of Hulu’s scripted originals, while FX boss John Landgraf oversees FX on Hulu, with multiple shows set up at the cable brand now set to debut exclusively on Hulu.