Hulu: Mike Hopkins (CEO)
In an industry where streaming services is becoming only more competitive, seeing your CEO unexpectedly leave is not going to inspire confidence. While surprise and tension often makes good television, Hulu would gladly skip this episode. Similar to their viewers, Hulu’s 380 employees can only watch and cringe as former CEO, Mike Hopkins, steps down to lead Sony Pictures Television, where he will reunite with his former mentor from Fox, Tony Vinciquerra. In 2013, when Hopkins took control as Hulu’s CEO he led the organization through a state of turmoil and uncertainty to a successful period of growth. In just 4 years Hopkins managed to double revenue, triple its market valuation, and beat out its galactic rivals, Amazon and Netflix to become the first streaming service to win an Emmy for Best Drama Series (“The Handmaid’s Tale”). Hopkins also introduced Hulu’s expansion into pay TV, a service that offers live news, entertainment, and sports to capture consumers who are cutting the cable TV cord. Hopkins is replaced by Randy Freer, Hulu board member of the last four years, who is leaving his role as COO of Fox Networks Group in Los Angeles. While Freer may be well equipped for his new role, running Hulu is a daunting task, requiring its CEO to handle the competing priorities of each of its parent companies: Fox, Walt Disney Co, Comcast Corp and NBCUniversal. With Hulu becoming a top 10 choice for consumers, in large part due to Hopkin’s leadership, his quit will also make Hulu beat Amazon and Netflix once again; this time to the list of 2017’s Top 10 Biggest Quits.