Jason Kilar, founding CEO of Hulu, is tapped by AT&T Inc. to be the next CEO of WarnerMedia Group. The WarnerMedia Group is made up of some of your favorite channels including CNN, HBO, Warner Bros movie studio, and the soon-to-be launched streaming platform, HBO Max. HBO is home to many acclaimed TV shows like Game of Thrones, Westworld, VEEP, Silicon Valley, Big Little Lies and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Jason Kilar will report to John Stankey, the president and COO of AT&T who had previously held Kilar’s new position. According to Stankey, AT&T is interested in Kilar’s background in streaming to help their new platform take off. When asked about the decision, Stankey says, “His experience in media and entertainment, direct-to-consumer video streaming and advertising is the perfect fit for WarnerMedia, and I am excited to have him lead the next chapter of WarnerMedia’s storied success.”
This has been one of a number of leadership changes at AT&T. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says he will stay with the company through 2020, but won’t look any further than that, and Stephenson acknowledges that Stankey is likely next in line to run the company. Before Jason Kilar was announced as CEO of WarnerMedia, there had been some consideration of Jeff Zucker, CNN president who runs all sports and news at WarnerMedia, for the spot.
Kilar worked a number of different roles at Amazon, including senior vice president of worldwide application software, before he founded Hulu in 2007. He continued to run Hulu through 2013, during which his innovative new ideas about consumer experience created conflict between Fox, NBCUniversal and the Walt Disney Co. – Hulu’s owners at the time. After leaving, he co founded another streaming company, Vessel, that was sold to Verizon in 2016. Kilar is a Pittsburgh Native and a Harvard Business School Alumnus.