In a surprise shakeup, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins is moving to Sony Pictures Television as chairman while Hopkins' role at Hulu will be filled by Fox Networks Group COO Randy Freer.At Sony Pictures, Hopkins will oversee all television operations, reporting to studio chief Tony Vinciquerra. Freer, a 20-year Fox veteran, will take on the job of expanding Hulu's fledgling digital MVPD service and beefing up its original content offerings.Hopkins' departure from Hulu after four years at the top was highly...
Mike Hopkins was the CEO of the U.S. streaming service Hulu since 2013, the successor to founder Jason Kilar. For much of its first decade, Hulu was embroiled in corporate infighting between owners including Disney, Fox and NBC Universal, but Hopkins has had a stabilizing influence on the brand.
Hopkins was something of a surprise choice for the job because he was never regarded as having the kind of tech-visionary status Kilar enjoyed. But the appointment of a longtime Fox executive well-versed in the kind of delicate diplomacy required to lead affiliate-sales negotiations was seen as advantageous.
Hulu has flourished under Hopkins, who has presided over many significant changes to the venture including an aggressive expansion of both its original programming and licensing efforts. But 2017 brought the biggest change yet, when Hulu launched a skinny-bundle package of TV channels that aims to compete with traditional pay TV.
Hopkins knows the traditional TV world well having spent nearly 17 years as president of Fox Networks Group, where he oversaw distribution, sales and marketing. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach, and got his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Hopkins left Hulu to serve as Chairman, Sony Pictures Television beginning in late November 2017.