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Hulu, PlayStation Vue, & Sling TV All Have New Leadership in the Last Month


The last month or so has seen massive turnover in the world of live TV streaming with Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV all seeing new CEOs come in and take over.

Now this is nothing new, as CEOs often rotate out after four or five years. As best we can tell all three of these CEOs had been in their jobs for four or more years.

Let’s take a look at who left and who is coming in to replace them.

Hulu

After four years as CEO of Hulu pushing many changes in the service, CEO Mike Hopkins is stepping down to take over as Sony Pictures TV chairman.

Back in 2013 Mike Hopkins was named Hulu’s CEO. Since he took over Hopkins has launched Hulu live TV, made numerous deals to grow the Hulu catalog, launched original programming such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and has added the service to many new devices.

Hulu’s Board named Randy Freer as the new Hulu CEO. Freer, already a member of the Hulu Board, has been president and COO of Fox Networks Group since 2013. Freer will become the new CEO tomorrow.

Freer said: “Hulu is at the center of transformation in entertainment. Hulu’s management team and employees have positioned Hulu to be a leader in defining the future of content creation, distribution and monetization – all while putting the viewer first. I’d like to thank Hulu’s Board for this exciting opportunity.”

Sling TV

Back in September Sling TV’s CEO stepped down to take over as CEO of Pandora. Roger Lynch has been the CEO of Sling TV since it was first announced back in 2015. He oversaw the build-up to the launch of Sling TV for as best we can tell since 2012.

“Erik is positioned to fully support and grow our enterprise’s portfolio, including our Sling TV asset, as we work to connect 100 percent of the country through satellite, OTT, wireless and even digital over-the-air offerings,” Dish Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said in a statement. “Our company has built incredible assets from satellite, broadband, and streaming technologies, to a fleet of in-home experts and software development. We will continue to leverage those assets to be tuned in to the needs of our customers.”

“I want to thank Roger for his leadership over the past eight years, creating and defining the country’s first live OTT service,” Ergen said in a statement. “Roger built a fantastic team that will take Sling TV into the bright future ahead, and I wish Roger the best in his new endeavor.”

Replacing Roger Lynch at Sling TV is Dish Network’s President and Chief Operating Officer Erik Carlson.

PlayStation Vue

Back on October 3, 2017, we learned that the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), who oversaw PlayStation Vue, was stepping down after 20 years with Sony. Andrew House was seen as the man behind the push to launch PlayStation Vue and helped secure many of the important deals for streaming rights needed to make it a reality.

“I’m tremendously proud of what we’ve built with PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment: entertaining millions globally with the best in games and creating a fully fledged digital entertainment company. PlayStation has been a huge part of my life for more than 20 years but with the business having achieved record-breaking success, now seemed to be the right time for me to pursue new challenges,” House said in a prepared statement. “I shall always treasure the friendships and people that have made SIE such a wonderful place to work. I’m also grateful to PlayStation fans and gamers around the world for their loyalty and support. John and the team at SIE are world-class and I know the future of PlayStation is very bright.”

“When I passed the baton of leadership for Sony Computer Entertainment to Andrew House in 2011, I was confident that I was leaving the PlayStation business in the best possible hands, and so it has proved,” Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO, Sony Corporation, said in a prepared statement. “I’m extremely grateful to Andy for the great contribution he has made to evolving the PlayStation business, and firmly positioning it as one of the drivers of our future growth. Andy and I go back more than 20 years and spent much of this time together, dedicating ourselves to ensuring the success of the PlayStation business. I would like to thank Andy for his contribution over many years, and wish him every success in the future.

“It’s a great honor to take on the role of President and CEO, SIE, and I’m very grateful to Kaz and Andy for the trust and faith they have shown in me,” John Kodera said in a prepared statement. “I intend to build on the amazing progress Andy has made enhancing the PlayStation brand and expanding the game and network services business, and will strive to further strengthen the unique value proposition we are able to offer via the PlayStation platform. I look forward to working together with the SIE team, and everyone across the Sony Group, to continue to strengthen relations with our business partners, and provide the best possible interactive entertainment experiences, that only PlayStation can deliver.”

There you go… the new leaders of some of the most important services that have made cord cutting what it is today.

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  • Michael Smith

    I really like PS Vue and their picture quality (especially with live sports) but they need to update their platform on Roku and at least add the A&E Network channels to remain competitive with DTVN (in my opinion).

    • Brian @chatlegion.com

      I agree. Not a fan of the Roku interface but that may be because of the limitations on Roku. I am loving PS Vue on my Fire TV and Fire Stick’s. I also agree they best get working on A&E. Sadly, I even signed up for the cheapest Sling package just to get that so we could watch Live PD on the weekends. 🙂

  • Fred Koot

    Two people found better opportunities and one retired. Don’t see a story here.

  • NCAviator

    More rearranging the deck chairs. I have been a cord cutter now for a year. The Streaming Service leadership don’t get it. They are trying to be a “Me Too” cable company, but doing it badly.

    For the baby boomer generation, they grew up with Broadcast TV and then cable TV. They are use to a remote and a TV Guide. First in a paper book and then from their STB. They were trained to watch the content when the broadcaster told them too. VCR and DVR changed that paradigm.

    For the millennials and Gen-X; they want it when they want it, where they want it.

    The streaming companies are missing it. Probably intentionally. The streaming companies are owned by players with motives.

    For any streaming company to WIN; they need to: 1) Provide the content when the customer wants it. Not DVR or on Demand, but when the customer wants it and the content is made available to the world. 2) Customers also want all the shows/episodes so they can go back or start to watch new shows they have not watched. 3) Sports, news, and weather are the wild card. Sports have made trillions based on their licensing deals. They are not going to break those deals unless the new deal makes them more. Local news and weather is a challenge. Most young people don’t care about local. We have many outlets and new sources for national/international news.

    We also don’t see the government changing their rules to allow these new delivery services to work with a level field. Again follow the money.

    I would love to know what these boards hold their CEOs accountable for. Is the performance growth or maintain the content relationships of their parent companies?

    Should make for an interesting year or two.

    • TaiPeng

      We millennials want on demand to combat terrible unreliable streaming. As well as TV Everywhere access as a backup. Occasionally we do miss shows as well.

  • JASON LANCE

    Hopefully the PlayStation Vue will install parental controls. I don’t know how they’re getting by without having parental controls there’s content on there I don’t want my preteen son watching. I thought it was an FCC guideline that parental controls be installed on streaming devices or services. Come on Sony pick up the pace all the other streaming services have parental controls your behind the time…..

    • TaiPeng

      Streaming devices are new. I don’t know of any such laws or FCC policies mandating parental controls. The industry usually allows the company to set this through their corporate policies.

    • Fred Koot

      I would still file a complaint with the fcc, can’t hurt

  • TaiPeng

    When will DTVN leadership be replaced?

  • Spencer Karter

    I hope Susan Wojcicki steps down as YouTube CEO because she ruined YouTube. I know YouTubeTV is a great product.

  • Arnie K.

    let’s hope sling can get their mojo back. tons of problems, still.